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S. Korea boosting supply of lightweight anti-droplet masks for summer
Updated: 2020-06-22 17:05:51 KST
The summer heat makes it harder to breathe wearing a conventional medical-grade mask.
Those thinner dental masks could be an option, but most of them are not approved as medical aids.
The problem is solved, though, by a new type of masks labeled KF-AD KF standing for Korea Filter, and AD for Anti-Droplet.

"This is a KF94 mask and this is anti-droplet mask. This weighs only one third of this. You can feel how much thinner this is. And the difference is even more evident under the light. "

But both are authorized by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety for droplet resistance.
The thicker mask can block 94 percent of particles as small as 0.4 micrometers, and the KF-AD can block about 50 to 75 percent.

"The key is not how many filters there are but what kind of materials we use. Non-woven fabrics cost only about one-third of fabrics used in other masks."

KF masks are sold at a fixed price of 15-hundred Korean won, or a little more than one U.S. dollar.
They are sold mostly through the public rationing system at pharmacies and the post office.
There you can only buy up to 10 per week.

But the KF-AD is sold at nearly half that price, at around 5-hundred to 8-hundred Korean won.
They're sold only in the private sector, mostly through online malls, and you can buy as many as you want.
That's why these masks are sold out everytime they're back in stock.
With the supply unstable, the government has banned their export, even though it's partially lifted the ban on exporting conventional masks.

Currently, about 4-hundred thousand KF-ADs are being produced daily.
But the government aims to increase that supply up to one million a day by the end of the month.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.
Reporter : kelee@arirang.com