Categories
Anti-Viral Face Masks Coronavirus Protection Disinfectants Disposable Apparel Disposable Face Masks Face Masks Face Shields Hand Sanitizers Respirators

All Face Masks Not Created Equal

Face Masks and other FDA Regulated COVID-19 Products

What is the FDA?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA) is a federal agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA promotes public health through control and supervision of product categories.

What does the FDA regulate?

  • Foods
  • Drugs
  • Medical Devices
  • Electronic Products that give off radiation
  • Cosmetics
  • Veterinary Products
  • Tobacco Products

Classifications and Types of Face Masks and Respirators

Reduce transfer of germs and contamination. Minimize contamination caused by exhaled microorganisms and contagious droplets. Protect yourself and others by using the right kind of face mask or respirator.

Disposable Face Masks

disposable face mask

A face mask, with or without a face shield. Covers the user’s nose and mouth and may or may not meet fluid barrier or filtration efficiency levels.

From anti virus masks to cleanroom masks to surgical procedure medical face masks, Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies is a trusted source for many types of disposable face masks and respirators. Popular variations include reusable face masks and earloop face masks.

Reusable Face Masks

Reusable Face Mask with Filter

Cotton ear loop face masks that you can wash and use over and over. Sewn-in filter face masks step up your protection. Comfortable, effective, and reusable, washable cloth masks are a popular standard for everyday wear. Form-fitting cloth masks are an economical choice for face protection to prevent contamination.

Face Shields

face shield with face mask and bouffant

A face shield is a device used to protect the user’s eyes and face from bodily fluids, liquid splashes, or potentially infectious materials. Generally, a face shield is situated at the crown of the head and is constructed with plastic to cover the user’s eyes and face.

A face mask with a shield is a good solution in situations where you need to add protection to the eyes against liquid splash and other factors in the environment.

The Shift to Shields

Amidst COVID-19, worldwide use of personal protection is shifting from face masks to face shields.

Surgical Masks

surgical mask with eye shield

A mask that covers the user’s nose and mouth and provides a physical barrier to fluids and particulate materials. The mask meets certain fluid barrier protection standards and Class I or Class II flammability tests.

Ideal for both medical applications and other situations that are prone to splatters or fumes such as painting, superior full-face protection.

Filtering Face-Piece Respirators

reusable filter respirator

Comparatively, a filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) is a device that with these features: disposable half-face-piece, non-powered, and a air-purifying particulate respirator. Intended for use to cover the nose and mouth of the wearer to help reduce wearer exposure to pathogenic biological airborne particulates. This reusable N95 mask uses replaceable filters with a comfortable and reusable facepiece.

Dust Masks and Respirators are considered essential protective equipment in many industries where excessive dust and air particles can seriously damage workers’ lungs and respiratory system. Wearing a Disposable Respirator is an effective and cost-effective technique to protect against harmful contaminants and pathogens that can cause serious health issues. 

N95 Mask Respirators

disposable n95 respirator

A disposable half-mask filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) that covers the user’s airway (nose and mouth) and offers protection from particulate materials at an N95 filtration efficiency level per 42 CFR 84.181. N95 FFR used in a healthcare setting is regulated by FDA. In addition they are also either a class II device that is exempt from premarket requirements, or a class II cleared device.

A respirator mask is a must-have personal protective equipment in many professions. Wearing a N95 respirator serves as a contamination protection against a number of harmful pathogens and airborne particulates, droplets, and aerosols that can cause serious illness. 

NIOSH Approved N95 Respirators

NOISH approved disposable n95 respirator

An N95 respirator, approved by NIOSH (The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) that meets filtration efficiency level per 42 CFR 84.181.

Surgical N95 Respirators

Disposable FFR used in a healthcare setting. Particularly worn by Healthcare Providers (HCP) during procedures to protect both the patient and HCP from the transfer of microorganisms, body fluids, and particulate material. At an N95 filtration efficiency level per 42 CFR 84.181. Surgical N95 respirators are regulated by FDA. Similarly, they are either a class II device that is exempt from premarket notification requirements, or is a class II cleared device.

Your choice of face mask is important. Minimize contamination. Reduce exposure. Find cost-effective and efficient filtration for infection control in health care, and anywhere!

Make sure to get the right kind of face mask or respirator for your needs. Wearing the wrong kind of protection can be like not wearing any at at all. Need help? Get in touch! We’ll be glad to assist in your selection.

Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies

Categories
Cleanroom Disposable Apparel Disposable Coveralls Safety Safety Apparel

3 Benefits of Disposable Coveralls

Disposable coveralls are used to provide protection to the body without the hassle of decontaminating used suits. They are quick to deploy and quite easy to use. Coveralls are a great choice for visitors and workers who come to your facility.

Protect workers and make the job comfortable and safer.

#1: Affordable & Eco-Friendly

Disposable coveralls are affordable. Yes, there are reusable coveralls and garments that last longer. However, they are more expensive than disposable apparel and have to be laundered. The extra cost of laundering and handling make disposable coveralls an affordable option. No wasted water used to clean means they’re more friendly to the environment.

Microporous Coveralls with Hood & Boot
Microporous Cleanroom Coveralls with Hood & Boot

Critical Environments like Cleanrooms depend on coveralls to insure absolute cleanliness.

Read More about Cleanroom Disposables and Consumables.

#2: Comfortable & Always Clean

Coveralls are available in a lot of different styles. Now, workers in any industry can remain comfortable and safe while wearing disposable coveralls. Optional clothing components such as disposable coveralls with hood and boot offer complete coverage and protection.

PolyGard White Polypropylene Coveralls, elastic wrist & ankle, 25/case
White Polypropylene Coveralls, elastic wrist & ankle

Many fabrics used disposable apparel are lightweight and breathable. Workers benefit from the reduced risk of heat stress and heat-related fatigue while still being protected.

#3: Versatile Protection

Disposable Coveralls and Apparel are incredibly versatile. Disposal coveralls come in different fabrics, styles, and thickness.

Importantly, some workers require liquid tight weaves to keep the dangerous chemicals and moisture out whereas others need protective fabrics that breath. Coveralls are best for single use applications but can be recycled or lightly reused depending on the application.

Tyvek TY122S Coveralls with hood & boot, 25/case
Tyvek TY122S Coveralls with hood & boot, 25/case

For instance, maintenance and environmental workers benefit from the comfort and safety features of Tyvek coveralls and can use these garments in multiple situations. Paint workers can benefit from the full-body coverage and disposable nature helps with cleanup costs. Medical workers and researchers benefits from the sanitary features of disposable apparel as well.

Disposable Coveralls are essential safety gear in many professions and industries. The right kind of disposable coverall is good for those who need protection from a particular hazard. Coveralls are a great choice and are an effective alternative to non-disposable fabric protective garments.

Also, they are ideal coveralls for mold remediation, asbestos abatement among other hazardous work; and provide good comfort and body protection in many circumstances.

Categories
Anti-Viral Face Masks Coronavirus Protection Disposable Apparel Disposable Face Masks Face Masks Face Shields Safety Tips

What you should know: Face Shields, Masks, and Coronavirus

Shields could be the answer for some professionals who require more protection from Coronavirus.

Face Shields are a growing part of hospital protocol, and some infectious disease professionals are calling for greater adoption outside medical settings.

How do Face Shields protect from Coronavirus?

Unlike face masks that protect the nose and mouth, shields may also keep the virus from entering through the eyes.

The new coronavirus spreads mostly through droplets expelled from an infected person coughing, sneezing, or talking. A shield cover the eyes, mouth and nose; the areas of potential infection. Shields cover more of the face than masks, so infected droplets are less likely to land anywhere near your eyes, mouth or nose.

Face Shields protect against Infectious Droplets

Shields block droplets, which are larger particles that drop to the floor due to gravity, but not aerosols, smaller particles that may linger in the air when exhaled during a dental procedure or intubation.

A face shield can be a good option for additional coverage. Eye protection could result in a large reduction in virus infections and provides additional protection to mask wearers. In health care settings, eye protection has shown to reduce risk compared with no eye protection, but more evidence is needed.

Shield Shift: PPE usage moving from Masks to Shields … and here’s why:

Shields alone are widely thought to be just as effective in preventing an infected person from infecting others. Though guidance is offered to use face shields in conjunction with face masks until more research is available. Droplets can go out the side of shields and risk infection.

Face Shields can be easier to wear for prolonged periods, especially for those with breathing problems. Shields can help stop the outbreak, and are less restrictive than face masks.

It makes sense to pair shields with masks for added protection for medical professionals, first responders, service workers, personal trainers, barbers, dentists, and others who work closely with people.

Wrap-Around Face Shield Visor for more Protection

How to choose the best Face Shields:

  1. Waterproof, clear plastic material
  2. Shield extends below the chin and reaches to the ears
    • Ideally a wrap-around design to minimize exposure out the sides
  3. Fits without gaps at the forehead

How to safely use and handle Coronavirus PPE

Properly taking off personal protective equipment is key to preventing infection. 

  1. Use clean or new masks and shields each time. 

    use clean masks and shields every time

  2. Properly handle and dispose after use. 

    Remove shields without touching the plastic.
    Remove face masks without touching the filter.
    How to safely handle a face mask Copy

  3. Disinfect your hands

    Use soap and water and scrub for 40 seconds.
    wash your hands

  4. Clean and Store

    If reusable, clean with disinfectant spray, alcohol wipe, or rinse with soap and water before putting it away in a place where it cannot get contaminated.
    clean and store

More on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How to wear a face mask
You may also want to read: How to wear a face mask
Categories
Anti-Viral Face Masks Chemical Resistant Gloves Cleaning Supplies Disinfectants Disposable Apparel Disposable Face Masks Disposable Gloves Dust Masks & Respirators Face Masks Food Handling Food Service Wipes Gloves Janitorial Lab Supplies Latex Gloves Medical Exam Gloves Nitrile Gloves Polyethylene Gloves Pre-Saturated Wipes Respirators Safety Safety Apparel Sanitizers Tips Vinyl Gloves Wipes

Preparing Supplies for Pandemics

Pandemics and wide-ranging outbreaks claim millions of lives, economic meltdowns, affect public health, and disrupt societies. It is not enough to wait for the pandemic to start spreading before taking precautions against large scale outbreaks.  It would help if you got prepared by creating a foundation against the spread.

Effective preparedness of pandemic supplies and complemented efforts will strengthen systems and prevent further spread. In this article, you will learn the key measures to put in place before and during a pandemic.

What to do before a Pandemic

First of all, don’t panic. The sound of the word pandemic may be scary, but it doesn’t mean it cannot be contained. It is good to be prepared to avoid short notice rush.  Here are some things you could do before a pandemic occurs.

  • Make plans of what measures you will take in case your family members are affected.
  • Store up additional stock both foodstuff and health care prevention products
  • Stock up essential drugs as prescribed
  • Create easy access to details of your medical records and personal health

Health Care Plans to Consider During a Pandemic

When there is an outbreak in your community, you need to take measures to limit the spread of germs by practicing good hygiene. It will help prevent infection.  As much as you may want to avoid contact with the infected people, it would be best if you had practical measures. Below are the health care items that you will need.

Health Pandemic Supplies

Disinfectant Cleaners

Disinfectant Cleaners, Wipes, and Sprays

Disinfection is the use of chemicals to kill germs on surfaces.  It protects against infection during a pandemic, which lowers the risks of spreading the virus. It can be used at home, in the hospital, and even in a market place. 

You need to be patient when disinfecting surfaces because some disinfectants take time to penetrate the surface for effective results. The concentration and temperatures of the disinfectants are different, depending on the type you are using. You need to study the manufactures recommendations before using the chemicals carefully.

Protective Gloves

Protective Disposable Gloves vinyl nitrile latex medical exam food - harmonycr.com
Disposable Gloves in Latex, Nitrile, Vinyl, and Poly

You need to wear gloves during a pandemic to avoid contact with bodily fluids, blood, excretions, or contaminated surfaces. Your gloves need to be clean all the time. Change them after every task on every patient. You may change gloves more than two times on one patient, depending on how long the treatment takes. It is because some gloves may contain a high concentration of microorganisms.

Two major factors to consider when choosing gloves are; barrier protection and allergen content. Maximize its effectiveness by choosing reliable and experienced glove manufacture. You will be sure of the good quality of the gloves and constant availability.

Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning Supplies windex clorox simple green cleaners wipes - harmonycr.com
All-Purpose Cleaning Supplies and Wipes

Cleaning supplies help in the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities, which lowers the risk of spreading germs during a pandemic. There need to be practical routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces to avoid spread. Some of the cleaning supplies you need are;

  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Abrasive cleaners
  • Liquid detergents
  • Wipes

Face Masks

Disposable and reusable cotton face masks and face shields - harmonycr.com
Disposable Face Shields, Reusable Cotton Face Masks

Using face masks in public reduces the spread of infection. They minimize the excretion of respiratory droplets from infected people. Consider using face masks in congested places such as the market, public transport, etc.

Two types of face masks include, medical and non-medical. Prioritize the use of medical masks because it reduces the risks of transmission to zero, as compared to non-medical ones.

Disposable Gowns

Disposable Isolation Gowns

Gowns are used by hospital patients. They give easy access to the medical staff for the part of the body to be treated. Types of hospital gowns you need include;

  • Open Back gowns
  • Tie closure gowns
  •  IV gowns
  • Dignity Gowns
  • Snap closure
  • Disposable gowns

 Respirators

Dust Masks and Respirators

A respirator is a protective tool designed to protect people from inhaling hazardous air. The device covers the mouth and face, and in most cases, they cover the whole face of the entire head.  Types of respirators include;

  • Air purifying
  • Airline respirators
  • Hoods or helmets
  • Tight-fitting half masks
  • Breathing apparatus

A quote from Helene Munson says, “Behind the mask beats a loving heart, willing to save others.”

Categories
Cleanroom Conductive Strip ESD Shoe Covers Electronics Cleaning Wipes ESD Matting ESD Safe Apparel ESD Safe Gloves & Finger Cots ESD Safe Swabs ESD Safe Wipes ESD/Anti-Static Swabs Personal Grounding Static Control Tips

Are You Safe from ESD?

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is an abrupt electrical flow between two electrically charged objects caused by contact between the objects. Lightning exemplifies the concept of ESD. On a smaller scale, the human body is able to carry a charge and cause ESD when touching another charged object.

What is ESD Safe?

ESD Safe matting, apparel, gloves, swabs, wipes, and other supplies help ensure your environment is safe from electrostatic discharges (ESD) as much as possible. Very small discharges from static electricity can cause irreparable damage to sensitive components and electronics.

Even tables can carry a charge, causing contaminants to stick to them. Besides airborne particles attaching to surfaces, ESD from humans can damage electronics and semiconductors and can cause electrical failure.

ESD Safe products are designed to be non-conductive or to  “cage” and dissipate harmful electrostatic discharges.

To prevent damage in a manufacturing or lab setting, workers wear ESD gloves.

Why do you need ESD Gloves?

ESD Gloves Do 3 Things:

  1. Prevent static generation
  2. Dissipate or Shield electrostatic charges
  3. Protects material from particulate contamination

ESD Gloves, no matter the material, control electrical flows around the material. Instead of a quick burst of lightning, the ESD gloves provide a way for the electric charge to dissipate slowly without damage to electronics. 

Manufacturing electronics without ESD Gloves may not cause any immediate or noticeable damage. Humans only notice ESD greater than 3500 volts; however, an ESD of as little as 20 volts can cause electronic damage.

Electronics that have undergone an electrostatic discharge onto them may experience equipment failure months later. Therefore, to manufacture the highest quality products, ESD Gloves are needed for employees that interact with delicate equipment susceptible to damage from ESD and skin contaminants. 

Which ESD Glove Material is best?

Nitrile is the industry standard for ESD gloves. Found in Biotech, Electronic, and Pharmaceutical manufacturing, nitrile gloves are the industry workhorse. The material is naturally anti-static, puncture resistant, chemical-resistant, and durable, making nitrile the best choice for cleanroom applications.

Workers find nitrile gloves to be more comfortable than other materials because of its “memory” that molds well to the individual’s hand.

Nitrile, unlike latex, continues to be comfortable throughout a shift. Whenever a worker needs hand protection, it is best to choose nitrile as it provides the best barrier protection against cuts and chemicals.

Without sufficient protection, chemicals can seep into the skin and cause contamination, making nitrile gloves the best choice for applications involving chemicals.

However, nitrile is not compatible with aromatic solvents and ketones commonly found in paints and adhesives. For applications involving aromatic solvents, multiple types of glove material must be provided to maximize safety.

Nylon is used frequently in electronic manufacturing and handling because of nylon’s dexterity. Nylon is not suitable for cleanroom environments “due to their very high non-volatile residue values”.

A Higher NVR values correlates to a lower surface resistance, which decreases ESD strength in high humidity environments. The material, generally coated with a polyurethane-coat, reduces static while increasing grip.

The polyurethane coating is non-porous, preventing skin contaminants and oils from seeping onto equipment. It allows workers to maximize precision and dexterity by retaining touch-sensitivity and by increasing grip without feeling “sticky”.

Workers won’t have to worry about their glove sticking to any material. The polyurethane-coat provides additional puncture resistance and prevents against the glove shedding its material in high volume applications. Additionally, nylon gloves are compatible with all touchscreen devices.

Latex is the most common material for gloves. Normal Latex gloves generate static, so for cleanroom environments latex gloves include an anti-static additive to prevent ESD.

Latex, even with the additive, is the most affordable choice for ESD gloves. However, ESD Latex gloves have the same downsides as any latex glove.

Some employees will be allergic to the material and others will find it uncomfortable for extended periods of time. Latex gloves also have a shorter shelf life than Nitrile. When working with sharp materials, Latex does not have the puncture resistance as Nitrile or Nylon.

In general, Nitrile is the most comfortable, durable, and puncture resistant material for ESD gloves.

ESD Gloves May Not Be Enough

When working with delicate electronic components susceptible to damage from human contamination, ESD gloves are necessary.

However, other static control procedures and devices will provide protection beyond a single employee’s hands. To minimize static electricity and damaging particulates, there are also ESD shoes, mats, and wrist straps to fully ground employees entering sensitive environments.

When working with sensitive equipment, ESD swabs protect from static damage. No matter your environment, ESD is controllable and damage is easy to minimize with the proper products.

Categories
Disposable Gloves Face Masks Gloves How To Media Transport Swabs Medical Exam Gloves Sterile Swabs Swabs

Effective COVID-19 Testing Swabs by Puritan

How to Collect a Nasopharyngeal Swab Specimen

When conducting diagnostic swab testing for COVID-19, CDC recommends nasopharyngeal swabbing. Regardless if the patient is symptomatic, specimens should be collected as soon as possible with testing swabs once PUIs are identified.

If you’ve conducted flu tests, swabbing for COVID-19 testing is the same process.

Puritan’s 7 Steps for Taking a Nasopharyngeal Swab Specimen

  1. Wash hands and wear appropriate PPE such as disposable gloves, isolation gowns, and face masks.
  2. Remove sterile swab from package.
  3. Tilt patient’s head back to straighten nasal passage.
  4. Insert swab straight back horizontally to the nasopharynx until you meet resistance.
  5. Rotate swab up to 5 times and hold in place 5-10 seconds to collect sample.
  6. Place swab into the viral transport medium and break off handle where indicated.
  7. Cap, label with patient information, and deliver to lab for testing.

We recommend using Puritan’s UniTranz-RT Transport System and PurFlock Ultra swab for COVID-19 testing.

To find more tips and helpful information visit the Puritan COVID 19 resource portal.

Puritan Medical Products. “COVID-19 Testing: How to Collect a Nasopharyngeal Swab Specimen.” COVID-19 Testing: How to Collect a Nasopharyngeal Swab Specimen, Puritan Medical Products, 8 Apr. 2020, blog.puritanmedproducts.com/how-to-collect-a-nasopharyngeal-swab-specimen.