FAQ about Air Queen masks2020-07-10T20:27:09+00:00

Hello! How can we help you?

When will I get my masks? I want them right now!2020-07-08T14:35:05+00:00

We post all orders next-working-day, occasionally same-working-day if the dispatcher has had his morning coffee. All orders are sent by Royal Mail first class. Once in the hands of Royal Mail, we can’t give you delivery dates, but it’s normally within 2-3 days. If you place a larger order (100+ masks) we may use an alternative tracked courier service.

Can I wash or re-use them, and how?2020-08-24T19:50:48+00:00

Just about all N95 masks are designed to be single-use disposable items and pre-Covid they were marketed as such. Most of our customers buy Air Queens for single-use. However the global PPE shortage has necessitated some creative solutions for cleaning/repurposing. You have basically two options: (1) A ‘rotation’ strategy. The coronavirus loses viability after 72 hours, so the US CDC’s suggestion has been to keep used masks in bags for at least that long before re-use; or (2) decontamination (i.e. washing). The general principles of washing an N95 mask for re-use are that the structure of the mask not be compromised thereby affecting its fit; and that the filtration capacity be preserved so far as possible. The Air Queen is tough enough to withstand handwashing. There was a study here which concluded that the efficiency of the nanofibre filter is not materially affected by washing, which is great news for the Air Queens. As for the recommended cleaning solution, official advice has been fluid on this. Ethanol soaking was recommended initially, then there was official advice to use weak bleach solution, then there was UK government advice to wash face coverings with regular washing machine detergent. Our advice for AirQueens (in non-healthcare settings) is that while the mask still fits well you can keep washing it; if you notice a poor fit or any other damage then just grab a fresh packet!

These are medical grade masks, I worry about depriving the NHS2020-07-08T18:54:50+00:00

Our US affiliate sells many Air Queen masks to US healthcare providers but Air Queen masks are not currently supplied to the NHS. The Korean supply chain is secure and scalable, but if we ever found ourselves with a choice of fulfilling orders destined for front-line workers vs. continuing to sell online, we undertake to pause online sales. So you can have peace of mind that your order will never be depriving front-line workers of PPE.

My mask was damaged or broken on arrival2020-07-08T14:42:31+00:00

Oh no! The Air Queen masks are sealed at the factory so we cannot inspect the contents before they are sent out. To date we have had zero reports of defects, but never say never! In case it happens, please email returns@air-queen.co.uk, and we can arrange a return and replacement.

Who can I contact for bulk/wholesale orders?2020-07-10T20:24:21+00:00

We are happy to arrange wholesale orders at market-leading prices, depending on order quantity and long-term order prospects. Just fill out the contact form here and include ‘wholesale’ in the message.

Is there a version of the Air Queen mask to fit children?2020-08-24T17:21:02+00:00

Yes, called the AirBon. Designed for kids, it provides superior respiratory protection and functionality with comfort in mind. The filtration used in the AirBon mask is the same nanofibre technology used in the AirQueen (adult sized) mask, which is so safe that it is used by operating room personnel

Can you explain all the technical terms?2020-09-22T12:31:34+00:00

It looks as though face masks are going to be with us for a while, so it’s worth spending a few minutes to understand all the jargon. Let’s put non-medical ‘face coverings’ aside. These can be any piece of cloth over the nose and mouth, and while there is some weak evidence that they protect others they offer the wearer no protection.

First up, the European standards. There are two relevant European standards which define two sets of masks, as follows:

  • Medical facemasks, as defined by the European standard EN 14683. This classifies masks as either Type I or Type II, depending on their efficiency at filtering bacteria-sized particles. There are also Type II R masks, where the ‘R’ simply designates that the mask provides additional fluid resistance. Since aerosol particles are much smaller than bacteria, these masks do NOT provide the wearer with a reliable level of protection from inhaling smaller airborne particles.
  • Respirators, as defined by the European standard EN 149. This is a stricter set of standards and defines three classes of Filtering Facepiece (FFP), known as FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3. The classification of a mask depends mainly on its efficiency at filtering aerosol particles, the leakage of air around the its edges, and its ‘breathability’ (measured as inhalation/exhalation resistance). The Air Queen masks are FFP2

FFP1 masks FFP2 masks FFP3 masks
Filtration of airborne particles At least 80% At least 94% At least 99%
Inward air leakage Less than 22% Less than 8% Less than 2%

A key source of confusion is that bacteria-sized particles (used to classify medical facemasks) are MUCH (30x plus) larger than aerosol-sized particles (used to classify respirators). So a Type II medical mask claiming a ‘filtration efficiency’ of 98% is nowhere near as efficient as an FFP2 mask claiming at least 94% ‘filtration efficiency’! You will also find masks sold online as “Type II / FFP2”, which is a misleading mix of standards, where Type II are substantially inferior. With us so far?

Now to the US standards. The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines the following classes of respirator: N95, N99 and N100. The N95 masks are similar to the European FFP2 standards and the N99 are similar to the European FFP3 standards. N95 and FFP2 are often used interchangeably internationally.

Finally come the Chinese standards. The world is awash with masks advertised as being ‘KN95’. KN95 is a performance rating under the Chinese standard GB2626:2006. The standards themselves specify KN95 masks as being broadly the same as the US N95 masks, or the EU FFP2 masks. But – and this is a big but – there is no independent certification or assurance of product quality, and products supposedly manufactured to KN95 standards are simply declared as compliant by their manufacturers. The result is that huge quantities of KN95-marked masks fall far short of the N95/FFP2 standards. Here in the UK the Health and Safety Executive has gone as far as to say that KN95 masks should not be used as PPE at work.

Phew!

How should I put on and remove my Air Queen safely?2020-07-09T15:54:20+00:00

Wash your hands before putting on a mask. Pull the sides of the mask gently to expand it to its full size. Cover the mouth and nose with your mask, squeeze the nose bridge metal strip to make sure the mask fits closely over the nose. Make sure the mask fits right down over your chin. Try to avoid touching the mask while using it (especially the outside of the filter). When removing the mask, take it off using the elastic ear loops, and either discard it immediately, or drop it into your cleaning solution for a soak

Can you ship internationally?2020-07-10T17:27:09+00:00

Not currently, sorry. However if you are in North America, our affiliate airqueen.com will be happy to help

Should I get a mask with a valve?2020-07-10T17:29:30+00:00

Valved masks do reduce ‘exhalation resistance’ so it makes breathing out through the mask slightly easier. However the valves expel unfiltered air, so you would be doing nothing to help other members of the public around you in case you were infected (knowingly or not) with Covid-19. For that reason they are seen as the ‘selfish option’!

How does your price stack up against comparable masks?2020-07-10T17:39:05+00:00

We did a quick review of 15 competitor products that you are likely to find with an online search. The results are below (prices correct as of 10 July). The average price of competitor masks was £4.00 and the lowest was £2.95. That compares to a single Air Queen mask price of £2.50!

Can I wear the mask with a beard?2020-07-10T17:41:06+00:00

Technically yes, because there is no rubber/plastic seal to the face. However, N95/FFP2 products should always be used clean-shaven, in order to ensure they perform to their specification

What is the suggested age for using the AirBon mask?2020-08-24T17:23:08+00:00

The manufacturer suggests ages 8 years of age and older. If you find the AirBon is too big for your child, we find tying a knot in the ear loop works well to tighten the fit. If you would like to try this, we suggest creating a knot that rests between the bottom of the ear lobe and the chin so as not to create irritation at the back of the ear

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