Sunday, June 23, 2013

[Non-food] Which N95 Mask to Fight the Haze and How to Use it? (Updated)

I seriously doubt the haze situation will be resolved anytime soon unless there is a huge downpour over the sky of Sumatra within these few days.  In the meantime, life must go on and the best we can do to protect ourselves is to minimise exposure in the outdoors and therefore limit the intake of toxic pollutants into our body.  Depending on your personal physical condition and the the pollution level, you may want to use the N95 mask when appropriate.  There are several types of N95 masks available in Singapore and an extract from a piece of info found online about the differences for the different N95 masks models.

Health Advisory
There is a recent advisory from MOH that "N95 masks are not certified for use in children; pregnant women in their 2nd and 3rd trimester shouldn't wear N95 masks for more than 15-20 mins each time."  Details can be found in this photo.

Also, there isn't a need to change a N95 mask everyday!  MOH advises that the mask only needs to be changed when it is soiled or when it has gotten out of shape.  For more questions on managing your health in times of haze, do visit the MOH's website.  Also, all of us should familiarise with the health advisory issued by MOH which has info on the medical scheme for those affected by the haze.

N95 Stock
MOH has also recently released stocks of N95 to various pharmacies.  On last Friday, some friends have shared that the pharmacies they had gone to had no more N95 masks.  On Saturday morning, Unity Healthcare had replenished it's stocks and also publicly announced the arrival time of their stocks to manage buyers' expectation.  N95 can also be purchased from Cold Storage and Watsons.  NTUC Fairprice will also start selling from 24 Jun onwards.

Price of N95 Masks
Updates from friends show that the price at Unity is the cheapest.  $2.25 after the 10% discount for almost all models.  At Cold Storage, the price is $56 for 1 box (20 pieces) of N95 8210 and $77 for 1 box (20 pieces) of N95 9210.  Watsons had also started the sale of N95 at the price of $2.50 each for N95 1860 and 1860s.  Each person can buy up to 10 pieces. 

Donning the N95 Mask
The N95 mask is rather tight-fitting and hence, a little difficult to put on.  Here's some tips from HPB on putting on the N95 masks.

The video from Raffles Medical is useful - watch the hands-on demo on putting on and removing the mask.

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