Everyone knows that the use of face masks is fundamental to creating a safe environment and stop the spread of the virus. However, uncertainty and confusion revolve around the kind of masks that are most suitable to get the job done. If you are also confused about the kind of mask to buy, learning the difference between BFE and PFE can help you decide. Scroll down to take a look at the BFE and PFE values and how they impact the effectiveness of your mask.
· Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE)
Bacterial Filtration Efficiency, more commonly known as BFE, measures how effectively a mask filters bacteria larger than 3 microns in size. The BFE test measures the filtration effectiveness of the mask using live bacteria. This test is generally performed on materials that are designed to protect against biological aerosols.
· Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE)
Particle Filtration Efficiency, more commonly known as PFE, measures how effectively a mask filters particles larger than 1.0 micron in size. The PFE test measures the filtration effectiveness of a mask using non-living particles in sizes varying from 0.1 to 1.0 microns. The higher the value of PFE, the more protected you will be!
What Does This Mean?
Now you know the difference between BFE and PFE, but how can you use these variables to evaluate the effectiveness of your mask? Well, you have to consider the BFE/PFE ratings as well as the size of the particles or bacteria to determine the perfect mask.
For example, a protective mask with a PFE rating of 98% at 1.0 micron will provide better protection as compared to a mask with a BFE rating of 99% at 3.0 microns.
According to the US norms and EU norms, masks meeting ≥95% BFE/PFE ratings are good enough for daily use. These masks will provide adequate protection, keeping you safe and stopping the spread of the virus through the pandemic.
Keep in mind that the number of layers in a mask also plays an important role in determining its effectiveness. All protective masks should contain multiple layers. While 2-layer masks may also work adequately, it is best to opt for a 3-ply mask. 3-layer masks contain a middle layer of melt-blown material. It is important to understand that the number and quality of layers in a mask can impact the BFE/PFE rate of the mask, and hence its effectiveness.
The Final Verdict
Considering the above discussion, it is advisable to purchase a 3-ply mask with BFE/PFE rating equal to or greater than 90%. So, the next time you buy a protective mask, make sure to check its BFE/PFE rating. Also, don’t forget to consider the number and quality of layers.
If you are looking for a high-quality protective mask, then check out our collection at Lundybright. We designed masks to not only provide maximum protection but also add a fashionable touch to our attire!