How do I know the masks are effective?
O2SafeAir has been designed using an ergonomic facial fit in 4 sizes with insertable filters that have been tested for filtration efficiency against international performance standards at Nelson Laboratory, Utah, USA. Our filter test results are available upon request.
What certifications are the filters tested against?
Our air pollution filters are tested against and conform to NIOSH N95 filter efficiency for airflow resistance and particle filtration for requirements of an N95 respirator. They average filtering 98% of particulates down to a size of .3 microns with extremely low breathing resistance. Our medical grade filters are tested and conform to medical professional standard ASTM F2100-11 level 2 and block over 99.99% of airborne bacteria to a size of .1 microns with extremely low breathing resistance.
How long can filters be used before they need to be changed?
For our air pollution filters, while the filter should be effective for up to 50 hours of usage, as pollutants will build up or "load" inside the filter over time increasing breathing resistance and due to recommendations by NIOSH for the usage guidelines of N95 rated respirators, we don’t recommend using them for more than 8 hours before replacing them. For our medical grade filters, given the purpose of filtering out airborne pathogens and microorganisms, we recommend changing with every use and no longer than 6 hours. To ensure optimal performance, you should change filters after each usage.
How do I properly insert the filters and wear the mask?
As filters are sized to match the mask they are used with, ensure the filter and mask sizes match. Open the flaps in the back of the mask, line up the middle of the filter and ensure the top and bottom of the filter are touching the inside perimeter of the inside top and bottom of the mask. Next push the sides in and adjust to ensure the filter is aligned around perimeter inside of mask without "bunching" before closing the flaps.
What makes O2SafeAir unique or better than other masks?
O2SafeAir is the culmination of 4 years of R&D and market feedback. Key differences vs. other masks are that O2SafeAir is the first mask system which you can personalize for your needs by selecting different filters for different environments. We have also worked hard to find and source the best possible filter technology providing not only optimal protection but breathability and comfort using a proprietary mesh shell. Our unique materials and design also raise the bar on stylish protection!
What don't the masks protect against?
Our filters are not designed to protect against harmful gases, asbestos, silica, or spray paint. They are not recommended for occupational usage. As we are able to grow as a company, we have plans to introduce additional filters to protect against gases, ozone, and other specific airborne threats as well as to pursue regulatory certifications for occupational and medical professional usage.
Why don't O2SafeAir masks have exhale valves?
We have employed a proprietary fabric and filters in our masks that ensure ease of breathing. Some masks need exhale valves because it is difficult to pull air through and so humidity quickly builds up and needs to be released. This provides a problem if the purpose of the mask is to protect those around you from your germs since you are releasing them through the exhale valve whereas with O2SafeAir you are breathing in and out through only the filter.
Are the masks machine washable?
Yes! This is a large improvement we wanted to make from our first version Merino wool mask, which had a sewn in filter and machine washing would reduce the filter efficiency. Given that filters have electrostatic properties, washing a mask with a filter inside will diminish its performance. O2SafeAir makes it easy to machine wash your mask, which has been tested to ensure color won't fade and the material is quick drying, and then just pop in a fresh filter before your next use and hygiene is ensured!
What are O2Health masks designed to protect against?
O2Health is a surgical style 3 ply mask that meets the GB/T 32610-2016 standard for technical specifications of daily protective masks. Materials consists of a combination of meltblown and nonwoven filter layers that have over 95% filtration efficiency and are pleated for more surface area and easier breathing.
The main purpose of the mask is to prevent spreading of the users respiratory droplets which could contain cold or influenza virus particles. When effective grade surgical masks are worn, your mask protects others around you and others wearing surgical style masks can protect you from their mouth-borne germs.
What do O2Health masks not protect against?
O2Health masks are not designed with a respirator-style seal to protect against airborne particles such as PM 2.5, gases, silica, or spray paint. They are not designed for occupational or medical use but as everyday masks to reduce exposure to others from respiratory droplets. They make much more effective face coverings than cloth or fabric masks which do not employ a nonwoven filter.
How breathable are O2Health masks?
Our masks have been tested against standard GB/T 32610-2016 for technical specifications of daily protective masks. They average 98.2 Pa breathing resistance, well below the standard requirement of 175 Pa. However, if you breathe in and out with force, you may experience some inflation and deflation of the mask so it is recommended to breathe in through your nose and out with your mouth for most comfortable use of this style mask so it does not come up against your mouth when inhaling.
When should I replace my O2Health Mask? Can I reuse it?
O2Health masks are not recommended for re-use, but for single usage only and by a single user. We recommend not wearing the mask longer than or replacing your mask after 6 hours of usage. If you experience any difficulty breathing through the mask, you should remove or replace the mask right away. For those with known breathing or respiratory problems, please consult with a doctor before using O2Health masks.
How does the O2Health subscription program work?
You can select the option when ordering on our website to receive a monthly delivery of O2Health masks. The minimum requirement is 3 months and for that you get a 15% discount per mask pack. This is advisable as when demand for masks spike, historically we have seen supplies sell out and procuring an effective mask can become difficult and costly. Keeping a subscription of masks flowing allows you to stockpile for yourself, your family, your neighbors, co-workers, and to ensure that in times of need you will have a proper supply of masks. Unlike disposable N95 rated and high-grade ASTM medical masks, by procuring a subscription of our 3 ply surgical masks you are not interfering with needed product supply for medical professionals and first responders, as they require a different level of protection for occupational and medical usage.
While we request you continue your subscription for the mandatory 3 months to receive the product discount, and you will have the option to extend your subscription at the end of each 3 month period, you may cancel your subscription at any time by sending a message to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To better serve our customers, we always appreciate a note on why you have opted to stop your subscription service.
External Resources / Studies
The lifetime of filters is complicated science, at O2TODAY we are constantly looking for ways to improve our products and processes so that you will have an ease of mind and have the best protection available. Below are helpful links to official studies and recommendations that we comply with.
- Recommended Guidance for Extended Use and Limited Reuse of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Healthcare Settings - NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic
- NIOSH Publications and Products - NIOSH Guide to the Selection and Use of Particulate Respirators Certified Under 42 CFR 84 (96-101)
- Oxford University Press (OUP) - Academic
- Potential Demand for Respirators and Surgical Masks During a Hypothetical Influenza Pandemic in the United States
- New York State Guide on facemasks