Frequently asked questions
What is a Surgical Mask?
Surgical mask (blue)
A surgical mask is a disposable medical device that reduces transmission of infectious agents in exhaled droplets. These droplets can be droplets of saliva or secretions from the upper respiratory tract when the wearer exhales. These masks should not be worn for more than 8 hours. A surgical mask can also protect the wearer from the risk of
splashes of biological fluids.
Hive offers two type of
Surgical type masks;
Disposable 3ply Face Masks - Cheap and effective, perfect for going to the shops.
Type IIR Surgical Masks - Medical grade, its what we wear in the pharmacy.
What Are the Official Face Mask Standards?
Respirators are tested in the direction of inspiration (from outside to inside). The tests take into account the efficiency of the filter and leakage to the face.
In Europe, they must meet the European standard EN 149: 2001 which has three classes of disposable particulate respirators (FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3).
FFP1 refers to the least filtering of the three masks with an aerosol filtration of at least 80% and leakage to the inside of maximum 22%. This mask is mainly used as a dust mask (home renovations and various types of work).
FFP2 masks have a minimum of 94% filtration percentage and maximum 8% leakage to the inside. They are mainly used in construction, agriculture, and by healthcare professionals against influenza viruses. They are currently used for protection against the coronavirus.
In the United States, the face mask standards are a little different.
FFP3 masks are the most filtering mask of the FFPs. With a minimum filtration percentage of 99% and maximum 2% leakage to the inside, they protect against very fine particles such as asbestos.
N99 masks offer a minimum filtration percentage of 99% and maximum 2% leakage to the inside, they protect against very fine particles.
N95 masks minimum filtration percentage of 95%.
KN95 masks minimum filtration percentage of 95%.
I'm confused, which face mask should I wear?
Medical Grade Masks - most protection
Infections are spread by droplets which become aerosolised as they travel through the air. A medical mask has a very fine weave as its job is to
protect the wearer from these tiny aerosolised particles. Examples of this mask are
Fabric Face Coverings - least protection
A cloth face mask, however, works by blocking the bigger droplets before they become aerosolised. “Its job isn’t to protect the wearer but to block the source of infection (what’s known as 'source control'). Woven fabrics like cotton are very good at source control but less good at protecting the wearer.
Reusable Face Mask with Filter - moderate protection
This option is very popular. This is a reusable cotton face mask that has a slot for a filter. The job of the filer is to offer more protection from airborne particles than a standard reusable face mask..
FFP3 - the best protection
FFP2 - very good protection
Type IIR Surgical - moderate protection
What is a medical grade face mask?
Medical Grade Face Masks UK
A medical grade face mask is one that has been tested and certified to meet medical level antiviral protection. These are available to the general public through Hive Pharmacy.
Hive pharmacy is a UK based pharmacy, we have sourced medical grade face masks that are recommended worldwide by the World Health Organisation for over 60 year olds. We have 3 medical grade products: FFP2 masks, FFP3 masks, and Type IIR masks are all medical grade masks that are sourced in the UK and are certified within Europe by PPE specialist notifed bodies.
Medical grade masks such as FFP3, FFP2, N95 and Type IIR surgical masks are
not reusable masks.
Why Choose Hive Pharmacy?
With over 1 million masks supplied during the COVID pandemic, Hive is a one of the UKs largest PPE suppliers.
Customers include the Ministry of Defence, various Embasies in London, Dental Practices, Air Ambulance services, 100's of businesses and many more besides, rest assured you can trust us to provide the best service possible.
Our aim is to post your parcels within 24 hours of receiving your order and will send by Tracked 24 - thats 24 hour post!