How to discern between true and false masks?

About the mask

There are many rumors circulating in the market

Today, we are going to break it one by one

Rumor 1: a qualified mask will absorb a lot of paper, otherwise it is not qualified.

Spread saying: mask can absorb small paper is a qualified mask, otherwise is not qualified.

Here’s the truth:

In the case of complete structure, the mask can absorb a large number of paper scraps, mainly by the outer layer of spunbonded cloth. But the core difference between a real mask and a fake mask is whether there is a molten spray layer in the middle. And melting spray layer has static electricity, not equal to the outer layer of the mask also has static electricity. For example, we all know that banana meat is sweet, but that doesn’t mean that the skin is sweet. If it’s not, it’s a fake banana.

In fact, it is very simple to make the outer layer of the mask to absorb the paper scraps, friction can generate static electricity, but this does not tell whether there is a melting spray layer in the mask, and whether the melting spray layer process is qualified.

Rumor 2: wearing a mask means you can blow out candles and lighters.

Popular saying: wearing a mask can blow out seedlings, that masks are not qualified.

Here’s the truth:

There are many kinds of masks. Some masks with higher requirements of protective performance, such as N95 and N99, are often used in the middle filter layer with thicker melt spraying cloth, or even multi-layer melt spraying cloth, in order to ensure protection. Therefore, the resistance of masks is relatively large, and it is difficult to blow out seedlings when wearing them. But some masks, such as surgical masks, offer relatively little resistance and may be used to extinguish flames.

In addition, like respirators with breathing valves, it is easier to blow out seedlings. In addition, everyone’s cardiopulmonary function is not the same, which means wearing the same mask, some people can blow out the seedlings, but some people cannot blow out the seedlings, so it is not accurate to judge whether the mask is qualified. So can blow out the seedlings, depends on the individual cardiopulmonary function and the breathability of the mask, and the protection of the mask is not necessarily related, natural also do not apply to identify whether the mask is qualified.

Rumor 3: disposable mask gaskets can provide protection.

Spread saying: a lot of disposable mask cushion business all claim to use nonwoven cloth, with the structure of the mask has 3 layers, can have protective effect.

Here’s the truth:

Some unknown channels on the market out of the “mask pad” “mask manufacturer reform”, just used non-woven cloth, even if there are three layers of structure, dust, moisture absorption, but may not be used in the production of surgical masks need technology, also cannot guarantee the ability to filter bacteria. It is not recommended to buy mask pads produced by unknown manufacturers that have not passed the medical testing standards.

The filter element of the mask that has passed the medical test standard needs to be used with the mask mold/mask of the same brand. The disposable mask pad that has passed the medical test standard should pay attention to whether it is breathable, whether it fits with the face, and whether it can cover the mouth and nose after sticking into the mask.

Do not buy mask pad also can, alternate the use of hand mask, single use time is not too long, pay attention to hang up ventilation and timely replacement, can be used for a longer time.

Rumor 4: masks can be identified by whether they are waterproof or not.

Rumor has it that masks can be identified by whether they are waterproof or not.

Here’s the truth:

This method cannot be used to determine the authenticity of masks. General mask surface cloth is polypropylene spunbonded nonwovens, polypropylene itself is a kind of hydrophobic material, will be made into masks with spunbonded cloth, natural is also hydrophobic. The flow of water is difficult to penetrate unless a great deal of pressure is applied to the material.

Many fake masks on the market also use waterproof polypropylene spunbonded nonwoven materials, but for the middle layer of the mask to play a core role of protection with electrostatic melt spraying cloth, some fake masks with spunbonded cloth pretend, some use no static melt spraying cloth. Therefore, only through whether waterproof to identify is not reliable.

Have you learned how to identify any masks you buy from trusted sources?

Do not purchase masks without melt-blown! Identification of true and false melt-blown mask!

Due to the limited expansion of covid-19 epidemic in the global scope, the demand for anti-epidemic masks is increasing all over the world. The economic benefits from the huge market demand have led to the emergence of a large number of substandard mask products in the market, among which the quality is the most important difference lies in the advantages and disadvantages of the mask lining fusing cloth.

Melt-blown is an important material for the production of surgical masks and N95 masks. It is called the “heart” of masks.

“There is no supply of melt-sprayed cloth, which is the core of masks,” said he, head of a clothing factory in quzhou, zhejiang province, according to Chinese media. A short month, a lot of enterprises are to produce masks, although the price of melt-blown cloth price increase is very big, but at present China melt-spraying cloth shortage is severe, there is no so much melt-spraying cloth supply market, now stuck in the melt-spraying cloth link.

What is melt-blown fabric?

Cut open an already used surgical mask and you’ll find: the mask has three layers:

SMS structure:

  • the inner S layer is ordinary non-woven fabric, which mainly functions as moisture absorption;
  • the outer S layer is a non-woven cloth with waterproof treatment, which is mainly used to isolate the fluid from the patient and prevent droplets.
  • the middle M layer is the most important core layer, which USES a melt spray cloth with electret treatment to filter bacterial suspended particles.

Melt spray cloth is a kind of polypropylene with high melt index as the material, by many criss-cross fiber with random direction laminated film, the fiber diameter range of 0.5~10 micron, its fiber diameter is about one thirtieth of the hair.

N95 level mask, optimized in structure :(middle level) more layers of core filter, thicker thickness. An ordinary surgical mask needs about 1g fusible spraying cloth +2g spunbonded cloth. An N95 mask, about 3-4g fusible spraying cloth +4g spunbonded cloth composition.

Although the size of novel coronavirus is very small, about 100 nm (0.1 micron), but the virus can not exist independently, its transmission route is mainly secretions and sneezing droplets, droplets in the size of about 5 micron, this is one;

Second, fusion-spraying cloth is essentially a fiber filter, containing virus droplets near the fusion-spraying cloth, will be electrostatic adsorption on the surface, can not pass through.

How did melt-spraying cloth come about?

The S layer and the M layer of the mask, although the raw material is polypropylene special resin, but melt spraying cloth special material and other non-woven fabric raw material, there are some differences in the production process, such as the M layer on a modified plastic link.

Special material for melt spraying cloth

Melt spraying cloth special material is high melt index polypropylene. Polypropylene melt index is higher, melt out of the fiber is finer, made of melt spray cloth filter is also better.

Oil → atmospheric decompression unit/secondary coking hydrocracking naphtha/hydrocracking light naphtha → ethylene cracking unit → ethylene/propylene → ethylene oxide/polypropylene (special resin)

S layer (spunbonded layer) : polypropylene resin → send to non-woven fabric factory to produce S layer → send to mask factory

M layer (fusible spray layer) : polypropylene resin → send to the modified plastic factory to produce fusible spray cloth material → send to the fusible spray nonwoven factory to make M layer → send to the mask factory

Because polypropylene, the raw material of melt-spraying cloth, is taken from petroleum, petrochemical enterprises have advantages in producing melt-spraying cloth.

Identify melted spray cloth

Many fake mask manufacturers took advantage of the loophole, in order to profit from the use of extremely poor quality, cheap, substandard raw materials, a turnover of nearly 10 times.

Some direct omit the most important melt spray cloth filter layer in the middle, with ordinary non-woven cloth instead, did not play the role of filtering virus, may also produce harm to the body!

So how do you tell if the laminated spray fabric in a surgical mask is real?

The two layers of inferior quality are easy to identify. A useful surgical mask must have three layers of spunbonded nonwoven fabric on each side and a full gram of melted spray cloth in the middle.

The figure shows the melting spray cloth. The filtering effect is related to its gram weight (grams per square meter). This range is 18-500g, 40-50g above the filtering effect is good.

Good fusion-sprayed cloth looks white instead of transparent due to its heavy weight in grams, and it looks distinctly different from the spunbonded non-woven fabric on both sides, which, to put it bluntly, looks like paper. If it looks different but obviously thin, it is a melted spray cloth with a small weight in grams. The thinner the melt spray cloth, the worse the effect.

Simple identification method:

First, as the name suggests, the spray layer melts when it encounters fire, not when it burns. Paper burns when it meets fire.

Second, melting spray layer has static electricity, you will melt spray layer into a strip, will obviously feel the electrostatic adsorption effect, can also be a strip of molten spray layer adsorption on stainless steel.

So at the end of the day you can take the mask off and look at it,

Avoid wearing a fake mask

Is it true that masks don’t burn? Ten rumors about mask authenticity!

During the epidemic, rumors were flooding the Internet, and rumors spread all over the place. If you read more, you might believe it. For example, as a mask for important epidemic prevention products, many consumers are faced with practical problems such as the distinction between true and false, model distinction, and whether they can be used repeatedly. If you can’t buy a mask, netizens have invented various methods to extend the duration of the mask, and there are many rumors about the mask.

Rumor 1:

The mask is impermeable to water, indicating resistance to novel coronavirus.

Authority unpack: the cloth of general face mask surface is polypropylene spin stick nonwoven cloth, polypropylene itself is a kind of hydrophobic material, after making its face mask use nonwoven cloth, also have certain waterproof. The flow of water is difficult to penetrate unless a great deal of pressure is applied to the material.

The standard gb19083-2010 (medical respirator) and yy0469-2011 (medical surgical mask) have the technical requirements of resistance to synthetic blood penetration, and gb19083-2010 (medical respirator) has the technical requirements of surface moisture resistance, while YY/ t0969-2013 (disposable surgical mask) does not have these two technical requirements.

In fact, non-n95 and non-medical surgical masks may not be resistant to novel coronavirus even if they are impermeable to water. Some of the fake masks surface can also be waterproof polypropylene spun-bonded non-woven material, but for the middle layer of the mask to play a core protective role of melt-sprayed non-woven cloth, some fake masks with spun-bonded cloth pretend, cannot have the effect of filtering viruses. Therefore, only through whether waterproof to identify is not reliable.

Rumor 2:

Disposable mask middle layer does not burn is the real thing.

Authoritative interpretation: standard gb19083-2010 (medical protective mask) and yy0469-2011 (medical surgical mask) have the index of flame retardant performance; However, YY/ t0969-2013 (disposable surgical mask) does not require flame retardant.

For the flame retardant performance of medical protective masks and surgical masks, the corresponding standard requirements: masks should be made of non-flammable materials, and the burning time of masks should not exceed 5 seconds after they leave the flame. Many of the fake masks may have used flame retardant materials, but other key properties such as particulate filtration efficiency and bacterial filtration efficiency do not meet the standards.

Rumor 3:

Use alcohol to disinfect masks?

Authoritative interpretation: disposable masks can not be “disinfection”, alcohol is liquid, with alcohol to the mask disinfection, may destroy the surface material of the mask hydrophobic treatment process, and then affect the surface blocking performance and intermediate layer filtering effect, so it is not recommended. Many expensive masks use filters that cannot be washed with water.

Rumor 4

Use oven, microwave or boiling water to disinfect the mask and reuse it.

Authority unpack: high temperature can kill virus really, but mask product especially medical model mask, the material that USES as well as the coating outside, it is to have special material (polypropylene melt spray), if use steam, high temperature wait for way disinfection, can change mask material qualitative, affect the protective effect of mask.

Rumor 5

The mouth of the mask is lined with a tissue folded in half to extend the use time.

Authority unscramble: mask from outside to inside is to resist water layer, filter layer, hygroscopicity layer respectively, those who have protective effect basically is intermediate filter layer. The longer the mask is used, the less effective it is. Ordinary sanitary tissues can only absorb the water vapor from the mouth, and cannot replace the filtration effect.

Rumor 6

The more masks you wear, the safer it is.

Authoritative interpretation: as long as the correct wearing of qualified surgical mask, only one can achieve the expected protective effect. Wearing multiple masks on top of one another can theoretically add some protection, but it can increase ventilation resistance and discomfort, and can be a waste of supplies.

Rumor 7

A strong dryer can sterilize the mask, face and hands in 30 seconds.

Authoritative interpretation: the warm wind of household hair dryer is about 55℃, hot wind exceeds 70℃ generally. According to the “novel coronavirus infected pneumonia treatment scheme (trial fifth edition)” issued by the state health commission, novel coronavirus is sensitive to temperature, 56 ℃ under 30 minutes will die. But the hair dryer, no matter how high the temperature is set, can only blow on the surface of the skin, it is impossible to blow to the respiratory tract. Whereas a novel coronavirus mainly infects the respiratory tract. Even if you want to sterilize the surface of the skin, keep blowing at 56℃ for at least 30 minutes, it is likely to damage the skin, as alcohol disinfection more convenient.

Rumor 8

In the family napkin, gauze, etc. can make masks.

Authority interpretation: masks include water blocking layer, filtration layer, moisture absorption layer, such as paper towels, plastic wrap, cotton cloth, gauze and other materials, it is difficult to play the role of water blocking and filtration, especially covid-19 virus diameter is about 60-140nm, these materials can not effectively filter the virus. And clingfilm itself basic airtight, want to be able to breathe is to rely on the gap between DIY mask and face, how can you prevent virus to breathe if there is gap?

Rumor 9

The mask should be cut into pieces or disinfected after use.

Authority interpretation: for the general public, because the risk is low, the mask can be removed directly discarded, do other treatment to increase the risk of hand contact with the face of the mask, but increase the risk of infection. Also, wash your hands after handling the mask. Of course, if there is thought to be a risk of contact with a suspected patient, the mask should be properly disinfected before removal.

Rumor 10

When you have a cold, you should turn the colored side outwards and vice versa.

Authority interpretation: in fact, there is only one correct way to wear a mask, that is, the colored side facing out, white or light side facing in. In general, the correct direction can be determined by observing the position of the ear band and nose clip. Changing the face of the mask will cause harmful bacteria that have been blocked by the mask to be inhaled into the body.

How did the mask come into being? Let’s take you to the production shop

In the last two or three months, masks have become a necessity of people’s lives, I believe that for most people, from small to large may not be as these months with masks such an ” Indissoluble bond.” So how did the mask, the object that has come in close contact with us the most recently, come about?

To understand the production process of masks in detail, we have to mention the raw material – non-woven cloth. The non-woven fabric used to produce masks mainly has blue and white colors, which are divided into two types: spunbonded non-woven fabric and melt-sprayed non-woven fabric. In the production line, roughly through the “pressing”, “upper ear belt”, “packaging sterilization” these three links, the original or into a roll of non-woven fabric suddenly changed into a square face mask blank.

The word “pressing” may sound confusing to you, but it’s not hard to understand. As we all know, there are usually three folds on the surface of the mask, which need to be manually stretched when used.

In the “pressing” process, the “bridge of the nose” is also carried out. Yes, the thin strip on the bridge of the nose that needs to be pressed when wearing a mask. It is a thin strip of adhesive tape, which is passed through the machine in the “pressing” part into the cut part of the mask.

The next step is the “upper ear band” process. In the mask production line of QiXin group, the “upper ear band” is divided into mechanical operation and manual operation. This process looks like a girl pierced ears, the pressure piece of the semi-finished mask to the belt machine, “dong” a sudden two soft texture, full of flexibility of the ear belt to play.

Manual operation takes a little time. The technician should press the semi-finished mask with one hand, hold the “gun head” of the belt beating machine with the other hand and operate manually. The two ears have four holes. Dong, dong, dong, dong four after, only with two or three seconds, a mask manual tape process is completed.

Finished pressing piece, finished tape, so far, a molding mask officially announced the birth.

Of course, from the production workshop to enter the market, masks also need to go through the packaging process. Formed masks are often scattered after production, workers need to put these large quantities of scattered masks finished products, a group of ten neat, after a film covering, sterilization, spray production code process, can enter the packing, logistics, sales links.

How to choose a mask? The definitive guide tells you the answer

Masks are an important line of defense against respiratory infections and can reduce the risk of novel coronavirus infection. The mask can not only prevent the patient from spraying droplets, reduce the amount and speed of droplets, but also block the virus containing droplets nucleus, preventing the wearer from inhaling. Based on the current understanding of the disease, this guide is developed on how to use masks correctly.

Wear principle

The basic principle is scientific and reasonable wear, standard use, effective protection. The details are as follows:

(1) Masks are not required to be worn in open and ventilated places in non-epidemic areas. Masks are required to be worn in crowded or closed public places.

(2) Disposable surgical masks are recommended to be worn in open and ventilated areas with high epidemic incidence; Wear a surgical mask or particle protective mask when entering crowded or closed public places.

(3) When you come to the hospital with suspected symptoms, you should wear a respirator for particulate matter or a medical respirator without breathing valve.

(4) Patients with respiratory diseases should use protective masks under the guidance of doctors. Very young infants cannot wear masks, easy to cause suffocation.

(5) Cotton mask, sponge mask and activated carbon mask do not protect against virus infection.

Recommended types of masks and objects to use

(1) Disposable surgical mask: the public is recommended to use it in non-crowded public places.

(2) Surgical mask for medical use: the protective effect is better than that of disposable surgical mask, and it is recommended to be worn by suspected cases, public transport drivers, taxi drivers, sanitation workers and public service personnel while on duty.

(3) KN95/N95 and above particle protective mask: the protective effect is better than the medical surgical mask, disposable surgical mask, field investigation, sampling and testing personnel are recommended to use, the public can also wear in high-density places or closed public places.

(4) Medical protective mask: it is recommended to be worn by medical staff in outpatient and isolation wards of fever and confirmed patients when they are transferred.

Principle of mask treatment after use

(1) There is no risk of transmission by a novel coronavirus in the masks worn by healthy people. Generally, the masks should be replaced when the masks are deformed, wet or dirty, resulting in reduced protective performance. After the use of healthy people mask, according to the requirements of household waste classification can be disposed.

(2) Masks worn by suspected cases or confirmed patients should not be discarded at will. They should be treated as medical waste and treated in strict accordance with relevant procedures of medical waste. They should not enter the circulation market.

Standards and precautions for children to wear masks

It is recommended that children choose products that meet the national standard gb2626-2006 KN95 and are labeled with protective masks for children or adolescents. Children should pay attention to the following when using masks:

(1) Children should read and correctly understand the instructions carefully with the help of parents before wearing them, so as to master the correct method of using respiratory protective equipment;

(2) Parents should pay close attention to the wearing situation of children’s masks at any time. If children feel uncomfortable while wearing masks, they should timely adjust or stop using them; (3) Due to the small face shape of children, it is not recommended for children to wear an adult mask with requirements of tightness because it cannot be fully closed with the edge of an adult mask.

The chaos behind mask imports and exports around the world

April fool’s day, April 1, 2020, has just passed. Until now, COVID-19 has swept the world, the number of patients up to a million, the death toll has reached tens of thousands of people, respirator protective clothing and other supplies become a global “strategic materials”, however, the above said is not an April fool’s joke, but is happening in fact.

The harsh truth is not just the cold data, but the repeated disasters to individuals and families. Others are catastrophic. These disasters are not only a test, but also a mirror, reflecting the people under the disaster.

Stock up

Stock masks, disinfectant, this is the past. Major countries in Europe and the United States are almost universal stock of toilet paper. In addition to toilet paper, all kinds of food, daily necessities, are a large number of stocks. It’s understandable that these people are going out for no other reason than to cut back. There are also wholesalers and distributors who hoard goods in order to sell them at high prices in the future. But some have miscalculated: despite the outbreak, many manufacturers have not cut production. So some of these people made a lot of money, there are also a lot of people in the stock did not get the benefits of the time, can only sell a large number of floor prices, say how nasty coronavirus.

Face masks

If said in early February, a mask of supply is not to catch up with him, China is also a cover is hard to find. Many face masks have only ordinary protective effect, and even have no ability to prevent a novel coronavirus, but a face mask is a comfort. With the mask slowly more, people have enough time to remember, oh oh oh, there are many foreign friends in their country also broke, they may also lack of masks. From the import mask to the export mask, immediately took place 180 degrees of change. Governments around the world are buying masks around the world, and there is no shortage of news of stolen government masks in Europe. All of a sudden, we can find people everywhere can start up masks, do e-commerce also began to sell masks, this business is booming, like a novel coronavirus in our eyes, just became our opportunity to make money. Even some sales platforms say, “if you don’t sell masks today, you’re already behind the trend of making money.”

Even many customers around me who are not engaged in textile business also began to ask me whether the production equipment of polypropylene, melt-spraying cloth and masks could be exempted from the formalities and whether the customs clearance is very convenient. “SSS, how much is the tax refund for the export of masks in China now?” “SSS, what qualification do we need to export mask medical?” “SSS, civilian face mask does not need qualification document?” . Every day there is a scene and scene of the “mask is crazy”.

The quality problem

Since the beginning of February, I have received many calls from people asking me to return the masks to Europe without CE certification. Some asked if I could retreat to another country, others whether I could enter Europe by other means, and still others whether I would be fined by the Chinese government if I returned to China. To this end, the Chinese government issued an administrative order on April 1 to strictly check the product qualification and certification requirements of all epidemic prevention materials to ensure the legal compliance of export epidemic prevention materials.

Governments’ attitudes towards the new crown

I dare not say that China is the strictest in terms of its attitude towards the new champion, but it must be the best in prevention and control. There was an anecdote recently: a new patient was found in a certain country, and one was shot. I wonder if this is a rumor, even if it isn’t, but the more I think about it, the more interesting it becomes: is there a place that would actually do this? Flu kills more people each year in the United States than it does in China. But as the outbreak escalated, the result was endemic violence. One story was that Germany had taken down the masks of the rest of Europe, and then countries in the European Union started to follow suit. After all, the way of the world is out of order, and the government does not play the CARDS, how can the people be stable? Or is it that the government is going off the rails just to reassure people? But where is that credibility?

The attitude of ordinary people towards the new crown

Ordinary people feared the fear of the new crown and wished the disaster were over. In this disaster, human beings have reflected a variety of different people, some hope and sigh, others think this is unfounded. Some get rich while others lose money. Restaurants and tourism have been hit hard. The real economy is in a slump. Housing prices are falling, students are starting school later… All the people are looking forward to the early end of the disaster, let the spring bright, full of laughter, people can take off their masks, face the sea, spring flowers.

Finally, I hope you can safely through the outbreak, even if the purchase of epidemic prevention materials also want to choose the formal channels to purchase, to avoid the two empty.

The COVID-19 is accelerating globally. What is the status of China’s foreign trade business of masks?

The global spread of covid-19 is accelerating, and masks are in short supply. After more than two months of difficult anti – epidemic, the domestic mask production capacity has been stimulated, the market supply is approaching normal.
China’s face masks are starting to be exported, and the huge demand has created a huge business opportunity. Two months ago, flights and shipments brought masks from different countries to China. Now it’s the other way around. It is this close link that is needed to address the rapid and widespread spread of the disease in today’s interconnected world.

Masks trade in the direction of the virus flow

“Now there is no shortage of masks, no one to ah? On March 4, a question popped up in a second-by-second stream of mask trading messages.
After a two-second pause, a line of sales and sales requests quickly brushed it off.
“Disposable medical, 2.6 pieces, 5W pieces”
“Take 100,000 forehead temperature guns, not industrial ones”…
After a while, this row of dense information, finally squeeze out a response to the sentence:
“It can be sold abroad. Take them abroad, 10 masks for $20.”

At the beginning of March, many manufacturers made export ideas, but did not do much. Many countries have very strict qualification requirements for mask import. Some factories inquired about the CE certification needed to export to the EU, which took several months and gave up. At the time, covid-19 was just over 10,000 confirmed in countries other than China. On March 2, the world health organization (who) said the COVID 19 outbreak was not yet a pandemic and that in many European and American countries, masks were not seen on the streets.

Only a week later, however, things changed dramatically. On 11 March, the world health organization declared covid-19 to have pandemic characteristics.

As of April 2, Beijing time, more than 920,000 cases have been confirmed globally, among which the United States, Italy, Spain, Iran, Germany and France are the most serious. Gaps in masks are growing, and on March 22, Italian media reported that the country’s health system was on the verge of collapse, with hospitals in some of the worst-hit areas severely lacking supplies.

Only U.S, the department of health and human services estimates that 3.5 billion masks will be used in the fight against novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the outbreak in China is on the mend. Since the beginning of march, the online and offline channels in China that have been in short supply for a long time began to gradually put on masks. This is a month since a large number of enterprises to expand capacity, increase production, the results of the production of masks. According to sky eye check data, in terms of business registration change information, in January 1 solstice between February, more than 4,000 enterprises in China added the business scope of “masks”, from March 1 to now, China has added the business scope of more than 5,000 enterprises including masks.
Lei limin, chairman of the China textile commerce association’s safety and health protection products committee, estimates that at the end of February, 180 million masks of all kinds were produced every day in the country, and the number is growing. The daily production capacity of a large market of masks in China alone may exceed 50 million.

As the world factory, China is continuously release productivity – it has complete mask industry supply chain, from polypropylene raw materials, to melt-blown fabric, to mask machine equipment, including raw materials, components, involves the chemical industry, textile, machinery, metallurgy, electron, etc., basic industry, during the period of domestic outbreak, masks were fully capacity expansion. As a part of globalization, it will play a role in global trade.

Masks are a business, and during the epidemic, they became a symbolic business. The way the virus spreads is the way it flows, and the speed of trade is racing to catch up.

The production line runs very fast, but it never delivers

Since the second week of March, foreign trade orders from abroad have surged, with orders for millions of orders pouring into factories with daily output of only a few hundred thousand. Waiting shippers crowd outside the factory gates, their phones ringing all day.

In ChangYuan, Henan province, which is known as the “capital of medical equipment,” the director of a mask factory said the factory was working 24 hours a day from February until now. “

“There are more than 70 medical equipment companies in ChangYuan, and they are probably exporting at the moment.” In the past, export orders accounted for only a small part of ChangYuan. Now, all the neighboring factories he saw are applying for export licenses.

His foreign trade orders, most of them from Italy, are lining up for delivery. “One million, two million, five million, eight million, ten million, twenty million, and fifty million. The largest list under discussion is for 300 million masks in the United States. “His factory can produce a million masks a day. Three million orders, can only find a few more factories to work together. He estimates that all the mask factories in the city together can produce between 50 and 70 million masks a day.

Since the outbreak in China, mask companies have been requisition by the government, but the control has been gradually lifted or lifted. North Korea and the United States is one of the top 10 brands of face masks in China. Now it can export, but faces a situation where capacity cannot keep up with demand.

“Our production capacity is now mainly linked to foreign orders introduced to the government.” North Korea and the United States in charge of procurement staff Ye Shi said. Every day countless phone calls are urging him to deliver the goods, some orders customers have already made money, can’t return, still owe millions of goods can’t be delivered.

There are roughly three types of demand received by North Korea and us. One is a large number of orders from abroad, by the relevant personnel of the domestic government to find the factory after the connection; Second, domestic enterprises want to purchase to make donations, such as Alibaba; Third, through the national labor insurance association to find foreign governments. The final recipients of these orders are foreign hospitals or public systems.

These orders are “can’t not take, must give it to complete.” But every single one of those would add up to billions. “We don’t sign orders now,” he says. “It’s basically a matter of getting as much as we can each day and giving each order a little bit.” “Said Ye Shi.

This time, he found it harder than in February during the severe domestic epidemic. “Before, with our capacity, we were able to meet the targets given to us during the government takeover of the factory. Our employees worked 15 hours a day. But in this situation, we have added temporary workers, and we cannot finish the 24-hour work. “

To expand the capacity, one depends on the number of raw materials (melt-spraying cloth, non-woven cloth, etc.), one depends on the number of equipment. But for now, the upstream supply chain in north Korea and the us has yet to respond to the sudden increase, and the factory will not deliver the new mask machines until April. But now, all customers without exception are demanding delivery by the end of march or early April.

At present, a major factor restricting mask productivity is still melt-spraying cloth. Although petrochina, sinopec has increased the production of melt-spraying cloth raw materials, enterprises are also in production of new melt-spraying cloth production line, but for these continue to expand the production of masks factory, melt-spraying cloth is still in short supply. “Yanjiao petrochemical is now producing 50 tons a day. Do you think that 50 tons can cover the production of several mask factories? The minimum demand for a mask factory is five tons.” Mask trader liu Yang every day to help the factory to find melt-spraying cloth, only a little at a time, “the manufacturers can only provide you with 5 to 10 tons of these, these in a day or two to use up.”

XianTao in Hubei province, China’s largest producer of disposable masks, is almost back to work. A midsize factory that produces 500, 000 masks a day says it has so far received 10 million orders, with orders through the end of April. As far as he knows, all the face mask factories in XianTao county are now doing outside orders, “as long as can start, are very full, you can squeeze into it, unless it is a small workshop. Large factories have basically received foreign orders, now the large orders are foreign trade orders, domestic orders are very small.

Difficult qualification, customs waiting for the release of goods

For a large number of new production of domestic mask factory, to export smoothly, the solution of mask certification is the most important thing.

Each country has its own mask inspection standards and all tests have to be redone. Domestic manufacturers will make masks according to GB standard, while the EU will make masks according to EN standard. For example, the EU standard for personal protective masks is EN149. According to the standard, the masks are divided into FFP1 / FFP2 / FFP3. Samples should be sent to Europe for respiratory resistance testing. From preparing the materials to sending the samples to Europe for testing, if there is a problem, the manufacturer will readjust. After going through this process, 2-3 months have passed.

Of course, the validity of these new certificates has raised doubts. For example, the European FFP2 level certificate (which requires the filtration efficiency of both oily and non-oily particles ≥ 94%) is currently on the market. “to be honest, according to the standard, FFP2 masks must be produced with FFP filtration materials to meet the standards. But there is not much that can be done with FFP in the country.” We examined said.

Liu Yang had a friend who exported a batch of masks to foreign countries in early march. The products were all returned because of the suspicion of the authenticity of the certificates.

Recently, the United States and Europe have urgently relaxed the requirements for access to anti-epidemic supplies such as masks. For example, the European Union stipulates that member states can centrally purchase anti-epidemic products without the CE mark to be used by medical staff during the epidemic period and not circulate on the market. Companies like north Korea and the United States, whose orders focus on centralized procurement by the government and delivery to hospitals, cannot print the CE mark on masks, but directly produce and deliver them in accordance with the national standards of medical protection KN95, civil KN95 and KN90.

Goods imported in the form of donations, or purchased by the government itself, are often subject to looser standards. The 100,000 surgical masks that Liu contacted were shipped to Iran without the COI certification needed to import them, but with the help of trade promotion.

First for the hospital, the epidemic area of ordinary people, still difficult to buy masks

Many traders camped out for days at several factories, knocking on the door for goods. Every day, as soon as the gate of the mask factory opens, the production capacity is almost immediately sold out.

Out of stock, pay full payment after the start of the list, whose money first to calculate who. Some American customers have just transferred us dollars to the account of the Chinese trading company, and the us dollars will take three days to arrive. Before the money is transferred from the trading company to the factory account, the appointed capacity is completely exhausted.

There are a lot of people who smell business opportunities, but only a few who really catch them. Masks have become the best and most difficult to do business this year, some people get rich overnight, some people were cheated naked, until now still on the road of hard rights. But even so, players large and small continued to enter the game.

The mask machine is now known in the industry as the “printing machine”, put on the original roll, start the machine, the mask at a minute of hundreds of pieces of speed to fly out, like money flying.

Many affected countries are coordinating the priority supply of local protective materials to medical and public systems, and the inventory and capacity of domestic mask manufacturers have been requisitioned.

One consequence is that offline retailers are out of stock. Even if foreign traders import masks from China, it is difficult to carry out offline retail, especially in EU countries. “They dare not go through formal channels. The main problem is the risk, whether they import the certificate of these masks can really stand the examination, whether the price is reasonable, it is easy to go wrong in the open channel. No one will be able to bear the responsibility then.” Yu Jianguo said.

The same is true for online stores. Many cross-border e-commerce platforms have banned the sale of masks. In early march, ebay issued a notice saying that in order to eliminate chaos, the platform was removing existing mask products. In mid-march, amazon began to announce that it would no longer accept applications for selling mask products. By March 23, however, many businesses found that mask category audits were quietly resuming, but with strict qualification checks.

“Because the outbreak started earlier in China, overseas Chinese were given early warning and stocks of masks were plentiful.” As early as the end of January, during the outbreak in China, we went to the supermarket to stock up on masks, and those who were able to make donations and buy out the stock of many local factories. Our relatives back home mailed them to us very early [before the customs ban].” “Said a Chinese resident of the UK.

Based on what happened in the country in February, people in affected areas may not be able to buy masks until hospitals have solved the shortage. So the mask factory needs at least two weeks of production cycle, and at least a week of clearance and transportation time.

ShopShipShake works directly with some mask factories to ensure the supply of masks purchased in compliance with the certification. Hope to work with South Africans to combat covid-19 here.

How to choose masks for different groups and occasions

This special holiday

“Wear a mask”

It became a necessary operation for us

Everyone must wear a mask when going out

This is self-responsibility

It’s also responsible for society

How should our parents choose masks for their children?

Which mask is more protective?

How should wear under different environment?

Read this article to let you understand!

Under the COVID-19 epidemic, it is recommended to choose an appropriate mask type without excessive protection. According to the nature and risks of epidemic prevention, the following guidelines are proposed:

High risk exposed person

Type of personnel:

  1. All staff working in wards, ICU and observation rooms where COVID 19 patients (confirmed cases, suspected cases) are admitted, including clinicians, nurses, carers, cleaners, cadavers, etc.
  2. Doctors and nurses in the fever clinic of the designated medical institutions in the epidemic area.
  3. Public health physicians conducting epidemiological investigations of confirmed and suspected cases.

Protection Suggestions:

  1. Medical protective mask;
  2. Install safety goggles or protective screen during the first aid of infected patients and tracheal intubation tracheal endoscopic examination.
  3. When there is a shortage of medical respirator, the respirator can be used to replace the respirator that conforms to the standard of N95/KN95 and above, or the self-suction filter respirator can be used. (full or half face type) with filter cotton to prevent particles, and the protection effect of powered air filter respirator is better.

Higher-risk exposed person

Type of personnel:

  1. Medical staff of emergency department, etc.;
  2. Public health physicians conducting epidemiological investigations of persons in close contact
  3. Environmental and biological sample testing personnel related to the outbreak.

Protection Suggestions:
PM respirator with N95/KN95 and above standard.

Medium risk exposed person

Type of personnel:

  1. Medical staff of general outpatient service and ward.
  2. Staff in crowded places, including hospitals, airports, railway stations, subways, ground buses, planes, trains, supermarkets, restaurants and other relatively closed places.
  3. Engaged in epidemic related administrative management, police, security, Courier and other employees.
  4. Home isolation and co-living personnel.

Protection Suggestions:
Wear a surgical mask.

Lower-risk exposed person

Type of personnel:

  1. Public in crowded areas such as supermarkets, shopping malls, vehicles and elevators
  2. Indoor office environment;
  3. Patients receiving medical treatment (except fever) from medical institutions;
  4. Focus on learning and activities for children and students in preschool institutions.

Protection Suggestions:
Wear disposable surgical mask UL children select products with similar performance.

disposable surgical mask

Low-risk personnel

Type of personnel:

  1. Indoor activities at home and scattered residents;
  2. Outdoor activities, including children and students in open space;
  3. Workers in well-ventilated workplace.

Protection Suggestions:
Masks are also not worn in homes, places with good ventilation and low personnel density. Non-medical masks, such as cotton, activated carbon and sponge masks have a certain protective effect, but also reduce the cough, sneeze and talk produced by the role of droplet spread, visible choice.

Usage precautions

Under the COVID-19 epidemic, on the premise of protecting public health, you can appropriately extend the use of masks (use time, use times).

Replacement of mask:

  1. Medical standard respirators are used for a period of time, and the masks are only used by special personnel. When high-risk persons finish work, take off the protective devices in the entry path (drinking water), and go to the toilet, they need to be replaced after re-entering
  2. Immediately replace the mask if it is contaminated by the patient’s blood, respiratory/nasal secretions and other body fluids;
  3. High-risk personnel should be replaced after receiving highly coagulative patients;
  4. Masks worn by other risk categories can be used repeatedly. Wash your hands before wearing the mask and avoid touching the inside of the mask. If the mask is dirty, deformed, damaged or smelly, it should be replaced in time.

Preservation, cleaning and disinfection of masks:

  1. If the mask needs to be used again, it can be hung in a clean, dry and ventilated place or placed in a clean and breathable paper bag. Masks should be stored separately, avoid contact with each other, and identify mask users.
  2. Medical standard respirator should not be cleaned, disinfectant, heating and other methods should not be used for disinfection.
  3. The cleaning of self-priming filter respirator (full or half face type) and power air supply filter respirator shall be carried out according to the instruction manual.
  4. Cotton mask can be cleaned and disinfected. Other non-medical masks should be handled according to the instruction.

How to tell a qualified mask from a fake one

Under the influence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), face mask has become a necessity in daily life. People are strongly advised to wear face masks when commuting, shopping, etc. to prevent themselves and others from possible droplet transmission and contact with the virus. Unfortunately, when it comes to buying the masks, some may encounter with fake masks that are below standard, made for profit instead of maintaining public health. We can’t possibly be sure where they are produced or how many of them are still in the market, but we can learn how to tell whether a mask is qualified or inferior.

1. fake masks cannot provide efficient protection and can be a possible source of pollution.

The most recommended masks are N95 medical masks, KN95/N95 particulate respirators as filtering masks, disposable surgical masks and disposable medical care masks (most common ones). Among them, the faking problem is most serious in the latter three kinds.

disposable surgical mask, medical care mask, KN95 mask and N95 medical masks
disposable surgical mask, medical care mask, KN95 mask and N95 medical masks

First, let’s talk about KN95 and N95, which correspond to the filtering standards of masks in China and the US respectively, requiring 95% initial efficiency on 0.3-micron particles. It can be seen from the picture that the material they use is of high density, with extremely small gaps and holes so that they can serve as a protection against the virus. The faked ones, however, use cheap filter material with poor protection effects. Some may even add a layer of heat-sealing cotton to add to the thickness. These fake KN95/N95 masks are ineffective at filtering, and they also increase respiratory resistance.

A qualified mask consists of three layers: the outer layer to prevent droplet, the middle one to prevent virus and the inner one to absorb moisture
A qualified mask consists of three layers: the outer layer to prevent droplet, the middle one to prevent virus and the inner one to absorb moisture

Then, there are surgical and medical masks. They are both made of three layers, the outermost layer is made of non-woven fabric with waterproof and electrostatic treatment, the middle layer is the filter, and the inner layer is made of skin-friendly cotton yarn material. Faked ones of these masks usually only have two layers and are much thinner than the qualified ones. They also use cheap filters and rough fabrics.

What’s more, these fake masks are usually produced without sterilization treatments, which means they are already polluted, or their sanitary conditions are not up to standard.

A small workshop for making fake face masks
A small workshop for making fake face masks

2. How to recognize a qualified mask?

It’s important to know whether the masks we’re buying are real or fake. Below are some examples of how to spot the most counterfeited masks.

2.1. 3M N95 particulate respirator

3M is the most common N95 mask brand in China. We can differentiate real and fake ones in two ways:

1. Through the false proof mark provided by the brand

Different types of masks will be equipped with different false proof marks or security labels. For example, the 8210CN face mask has one on the opening of the box, which looks like this:

2. Through smell, printing and certification mark

A real 3M mask doesn’t have a noticeable smell when the package is opened, nor does the rubber band part have a pungent smell, but with a fake one, the smell is easy to notice. Next, a real 3M mask has clear laser printing words on it, while a fake one often has uneven ink printing, and sometimes the words are rough and dim. What’s more, the certificate labels should not be printed on the packaging box but stuck on the masks like this:

For other major brands of N95 and K95 masks, please refer to corresponding official websites for detailed methods for identifying authenticity.

2.2 Disposal surgical masks

1. Log in to the NMPA website.

First, find the registration number on the mask package. Usually, the format is X registration + year of registration + 264 + serial number. Then, you can log in on NMPA.

Enter the registration number on the package and click “enquire”. If the information input is correct but a match product information cannot be found, then the mask is not in line with the production standard and can be identified as fake.

2. Observation and tearing

In addition to the NMPA website, you can judge through a couple of simpler and cruder ways. Fake masks are often made of thin and rough materials, and some are even coarse to see:

Some others are opaque and waterproof and are hard to tell with bare eyes

Some others are opaque and waterproof and are hard to tell with bare eyes:

Up: real; down: fake
Up: real; down: fake

For such masks, you can pick a used one and try to tear it apart:

A fake mask is easy to tear apart
A fake mask is easy to tear apart

A faked mask can be easily ripped, while the real one is difficult to do so even if with a lot of force. The filter material in between may be ripped, but the outer layers are not so easy to break:

A real mask is not easy to break
A real mask is not easy to break

Although this method is more convenient and intuitive, there will be inevitable errors. Therefore, it only serves as a preliminary judgment and going to NMPA for inquiry is more recommended.

Some people may feel desperate to get masks, but please get them from reputable and trust-worthy ways and remember to use the methods above to check the masks’ quality if in doubt. Otherwise, it will be a waste of money and a failure in getting proper protection.