It is fair to say that everyone was caught off-guard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even first-world countries failed to get an immediate grasp on the situation. The global death toll for coronavirus has surpassed over one million since the initial outbreak in December 2019. Things are better these days with several vaccines being rolled out, but it is still important that you take every precaution to protect yourself and your loved ones.
There has never been a better time to invest in health and safety. However, given the novel nature of the virus, even some experts are divided on which masks offer the best protection against the virus. Some suggest that your standard surgical mask is enough to get the job done, but others say that we need to go further with N95 masks and respirators. The division between experts only fosters more confusion and misunderstanding of the masses.
Today we will alleviate some of that confusion by looking at the differences between the Canadian ECAN95 masks and the standard N95 mask to give you a better understanding of which mask is right for you.
What is an ECAN95 Mask?
The ECAN95 masks are the Canadian equivalent of the American-made N95 mask. The ECAN masks are the first Canadian-made respirator masks to receive the approval of the Canadian federal government (MDEL #13385 license).
The British Columbia government has purchased over eight million medical-grade masks for hospitals and healthcare staff from a range of producers since the pandemic began. The ECAN95 Mask gives Canadian provinces and federal institutions a local source for their masks. While the material used in the masks is imported, all the assembly and manufacturing happen in a Surrey-based facility in British Columbia. Most of the stitch-work for the masks is done by hand to create a top-quality product.
ECAN masks are available at online retailers like 72hours. 72Hours.ca is a leading provider in emergency preparedness supplies, long-term food storage options, first aid supplies, and have been in operation for more than 8 years They began offering the ECAN95 particulate respirator masks when Covid-19 hit the world.
The masks have been extensively tested to ensure they meet all standards and regulations. The results were that the masks passed all applicable tests, including filtering efficiency tests, airflow resistance tests, and quantitative fit testing.
- TEB-APR-STP-0007 Inhalation Resistance
- Test TEB-APR-STP-0003 Exhalation Resistance
- Test TEB-APR-STP-0059 N95 Series
- All Passed
The manufacturing company expects the ECAN95 masks will soon receive certification from the Centre for Disease Control’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
For the time being you can order them online in packaged boxes that include 10x ECAN95 masks per box.
What is an N95 Mask?
The N95 mask is the gold standard of face masks. There are two main varieties of N95 mask, standard N95 masks and surgical N95 masks. Before diving too deeply on the differences between the two models, let us address the essential features of the N95 mask. The first thing to know is that these masks are a form of particulate respirator mask. The masks are designed to reduce exposure to dangerous airborne particles, including the virus that causes COVID-19.
For the United States, face masks are tested and certified by the U.S National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The masks are tested based on their performance and their physical characteristics, including filtering efficiency. The “95” for the masks comes from their 95% filtration efficiency. Simply put, the NIOSH rate the masks for filtering at least 95% of non-oil particles.
Surgical-grade N95 masks have approval from the FDA and NIOSH as both a respirator and surgical mask. The two masks are similar in appearance but have different fluid resistance levels. Fluid resistance is vital for those performing tasks and jobs where airborne droplets that may carry bacteria and viruses are a threat. Surgical N95 masks are approved for use by hospital and healthcare workers.
For those who do not handle surgical procedures or deal with high-pressure liquid streams, the standard N95 should prove sufficient enough to prevent exposure to airborne bacteria and viruses generated by patients.
The Similarities and Differences
There are many similarities between the two masks. They are fundamentally similar in that both masks keep wearers protected against airborne particulates. They are both effective at protecting wearers against virus droplets suspended in the air. Both masks are also N95 rated, meaning they filter up to 95% of bacteria and viruses in the air. Note: Please make sure to read the instructions on how to use the mask in order do protect yourself and other from the novel virus.
The main difference between the two masks is their point of origin. ECAN95 masks are made in Canada. Even if the materials are imported, the masks themselves are made in a Canadian facility. N95 masks are typically made in America and other countries, making them difficult to import to Canada.
Production quality is another potential difference between the two masks. N95 masks are often mass-produced using machines. The facilities may be clean and secure, but only Eternity Medical Equipment has that personal touch with some of the stitching done by hand.
If you live in Canada and are looking for a protective face mask, the ECAN95 mask is the way to go. The mask offers just as much protection as a standard N95 mask but with guaranteed top-quality production from within Canada. ECAN95 masks are made in Canada for Canadians. It’s really as simple as that.
The ECAN95 and N95 masks are fundamentally similar. Both masks offer protection against coronavirus and other airborne/droplet-based diseases. The key difference is that ECAN95 masks are made in Canada and are therefore more readily available for Canadians. If you are having trouble getting an N95 mask or want to support Canadian businesses, look into getting a box of ECAN95 masks for you, your family, or your workplace.