Approaches to analyzing efficiency of respiratory protective equipment as a way to reduce health risks during COVID-19 pandemic

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E.A. Shashina1, T.S. Isiutina-Fedotkova1, V.V. Makarova1, O.A. Gruzdeva2, O.V. Mitrokhin1


1 I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Bldg. 2, 8 Trubetskaya Str., Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
2 Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology in Moscow, the Central Administrative District brunch, Bldg. 1, 17 Krasnogvardeiskii blvd., Moscow, 123317, Russian Federation


Use of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) has become the most significant way to prevent the coronavirus infection from its rapid spread.
Our research goal was to analyze efficiency of various RPE used by people during COVID-19 pandemic.
We made a review focusing on RPE manufactured and tested as per standards existing in different counties; we also analyzed the State Medical Equipment Register of the Federal Service for Surveillance in Public Healthcare as well as a market where respiratory protective equipment available to people was distributed.
RPE is quite variable as per such parameters as bacterial filtration efficiency, number of layers and quality of a material it is made of, being fit to a person’s face (masks for children/adults), conditions for use (a time of use, whether a mask can be disinfected and used again, etc.). Data provided for customers when respiratory protective equipment is sold are rather scarce and controversial (people do not understand what a mask name means and how efficiently it protects their respiratory organs). Respiratory protective equipment which is registered within the State Medical Equipment Register of the Federal Service for Surveillance in Public Healthcare accounts for only 24% of the overall equipment sold to consumers. Taking into account variable and multiple properties of different masks, we developed a RPE classification basing on their efficiency when it comes down to protection from respiratory infections. FFP3/KN100/N99/N100 respirators are the most efficient ones. FFP2/KN95/N95/DS/DL2/KF94 respirators have average efficiency. FFP1 respirators and nonwoven medicals masks, II R, II, I type, and woven gauze masks have efficiency that is lower than average (RPE is mentioned in a descending order as per its efficiency). Low and extremely low efficiency was established accordingly for various non-medical masks (nonwoven, woven cotton, and synthetic ones) and face shields.
When RPE is manufactured and sold, there are no precise criteria for assessing its protective efficiency. There is either no unified approach to such concepts as «medical» and «non-medical» masks. Most respiratory protective equipment sold on the consumer market in Russia is not registered within the Russian State Medical Equipment Register of the Federal Service for Surveillance in Public Healthcare. Our classification allows working out a unified approach to providing data on respiratory protective equipment for consumers.

pandemic, COVID-19, respiratory protective equipment, medical mask, non-medical mask, bacterial filtration efficiency, the State Medical Equipment Register, protective equipment market
Shashina E.A., Isiutina-Fedotkova T.S., Makarova V.V., Gruzdeva O.A., Mitrokhin O.V. Approaches to analyzing efficiency of respiratory protective equipment as a way to reduce health risks during COVID-19 pandemic. Health Risk Analysis, 2021, no. 1, pp. 151–158. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2021.1.16.eng
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