Fireflies offering Facemasks and N95 Respirators

While chatting with Fireflies, Jack was very kind to offer some face masks to include with my package. I asked if he can find some Level 3 or N95 face masks and offer them on his website, which would help so many people where facemasks and respirators, especially real Level 3 and N95 rated ones, are near impossible to find or extremely expensive due to supply and demand. The price is only going to go up at a very rapid rate given the world wide shortage.

He agreed to help and said he would like to do this to lend a hand to the world wide situation and not profit off of it. But I said given the time and effort he put into this and a family to feed it is justifiable to at least price this to cover the labor and overhead.

He searched around and talked to various sources and ended up ordering some samples from different manufacturers. He’s also asking for advice on ways to test them to make sure they are legit. Not sure if he will be able to test them as it seems hard to do without professional equipment. But he is talking to a contact that organized a large group donation to Wuhan that can point him to the right direction.

He told me he just sourced the very last 205 pieces of FFP2 N95 respirators from Russia and he is considering stocking some in the Calfornia warehouse for fast delivery to us.

He should soon offer them in the Fireflies store or you can also contact him directly for details. I would much rather buy these from FF than from random sellers on Amazon, Ebay, and Aliexpress where they can label the masks with any rating (e.g., $10 100,000 lumen flashlights).

EDIT: Update from Fireflies after testing his samples:

They are now on Fireflies webstore. From what I understand, there are still more samples they are testing before adding them, which includes child masks.

2nd EIT: Test video is up. Not what I expected but still learned something…

That’s very kind of him.
I would be VERY suspicious of masks from most anywhere other than a known medical/industrial vendor.
I don’t know how he would go about making sure he was getting a good product.
The chance of counterfeits, substandard, or heaven forbid recycled masks is too great.
All the Best,

Thanks,but no thanks

They are starting to make maskes for Medical staff here in the Netherlands. A technical university did some research and they found material from vacuumcleaner bags to be the best in stopping bacteria from entering your lungs while still being able to breath normaly. So if your really unable to get masks you can make them yourself.

You know that makes a lot of sense. Many vacuum cleaner bags are HEPA rated. And they darn sure flow air at faster rates than we breathe.
I have quite a few inn the closet. Hum….
All the Best,

Most of the face masks, respirators and PPE gears used in US hospitals are manufactured in China so you can’t say just because it is made in China it is not good. Apple products are manufactured in China and so are most of our electronic equipment. We just need to make sure we are getting products made by legit manufacturers.

No one is telling you to buy it so please keep any negativity to yourself. I’m asking Fireflies to help us find these rated face masks and respirators that are otherwise unobtainable here and in most places.

My cousin ordered some masks from China in Feb .

He received them yesterday . they were postmarked “Wuhan China”

As I said, that is very kind of him. You also stated he also wanted to make sure he was getting a viable product.
I simply stated that in times like this some sources may not be safe.
I’m quite sure 3M and others source most of their stuff from China. That has nothing to do with the discussion, nor did I mention it.
But unless he buys from a trusted vendor, how is he to know the product meets standard?
If people are willing to market counterfeit, well, almost everything, something that needs to meet certain standards to work needs to be carefully sourced.
All the Best,

Just to let people know, any face mask/filtration is better than none. In countries where there are adequate face masks or shortage is not severe, the recommendation from their gov is for public to wear face masks. Only in countries where face masks and respirators are severely lacking, the gov recommends for the public not to wear face masks.

The US Surgeon General and also US CDC revised its guideline a few weeks ago to tell people that are not healthcare workers to not wear face masks claiming it is useless for prevention and actually increases chances of transmission and all we need to do for prevention is to frequently wash our hands with soap. One of their justifications for this official guideline is because of their claim that COVID-19 is not airborne, which has already been proven untrue by experts in the US and China.

But if you think about it, the whole logic behind this revision to the guideline doesn’t make sense. They are saying common people should not wear mask because it is not effective and we need to save it for our health care workers. Why is it effective only for our health care workers in preventing transmission but not effective for ordinary people??

Given the CDC’s recent extremely poor credibility in topics related to COVID-19, we can easily see that the reason they are telling lies that wearing facemask is not effective and can even increase transmission is simply scare tactics to prevent common people from buying up respiratory protection. Though I don’t blame CDC since they are lying with good intention because we need to give our healthcare workers first priority. But the truth is any mask is better than no mask.

“The federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile of medical supplies includes 12 million medical-grade N95 masks and 30 million surgical masks — only about one percent of the 3.5 billion that the Department of Health and Human Services estimates would be needed over the course of a year if the outbreak reaches pandemic levels.”

Per NYTimes, “the vice president has called on construction companies to donate masks, the surgeon general has urged the public to stop buying them, and experts have warned that, the more doctors and nurses who get sick, the greater strain on a system already stretched thin… Now, doctors, nurses and others are rallying on social media… that members of the public reach out to a nearby hospital if they had masks or other medical equipment to donate”

This study reported no significant difference in the effectiveness of medical face masks vs. N95 respirators for prevention of influenza or other viral respiratory illness.

Another study posted on CDC says, “Results of our study have global relevance to respiratory disease control planning, especially with regard to home care. During an influenza pandemic, supplies of antiviral drugs may be limited, and there will be unavoidable delays in the production of a matched pandemic vaccine (31). For new or emerging respiratory virus infections, no pharmaceutical interventions may be available. Even with seasonal influenza, widespread oseltamivir resistance in influenza virus A (H1N1) strains have recently been reported (32). Masks may therefore play an important role in reducing transmission.”

CDC says, “A surgical mask or fit-tested respirator should be worn by healthcare personnel who are within 6 feet of a suspected or laboratory-confirmed influenza patient. A respirator can be selected when antiviral medication supplies are expected to be limited and influenza vaccine is not available, e.g., during a pandemic”

CDC says, “HCP should don a facemask when entering the room of a patient with suspected or confirmed influenza. Remove the facemask when leaving the patient’s room, dispose of the facemask in a waste container, and perform hand hygiene.”

In the most recent updated official guidelines for dealing with mask shortages, the CDC now even recommends that medical professionals “might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort” if other equipment is not available.

This compares the filtration performance of the different surgical masks and N95 respirator. The N95 is superior no doubt and has tighter fit so it should definitely be required for health care personnel exposed to high viral concentrations. But surgical mask will also help especially for common people. My guess is that any mask is better than nothing if it can filter out particulate matter and aerosols that viruses are attached to thereby “reducing” the virus concentration entering our lungs. At 0.1 micron, this already exceeds HEPA filtration levels, which makes it very effective against particulate matter and atmospheric aerosol.

Anyways, like Fireflies, I am just trying to help those like myself that were looking for respiratory protection to buy but couldn’t find any, price being too high, or don’t trust the typical sellers on Amazon, Ebay, and Aliexpress, where shipping may also be very long. Though I don’t know how much Fireflies will be selling these for as they are still working on sourcing them from reputable sources, which is a big task on its own.

Wuhan accumulated the most protective equipment since everything was shipped there during the outbreak. Now that everything is under control and numbers dropping, it is not surprising the inventory needs to get redistributed to places that can use them. If you are worried about contamination, here is a recent study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health that shows how long the virus can stay infectious on different surfaces.

If you need to be worried, it is local packages that you should be worried about as the ship time is much quicker and chances of active virus remaining on surfaces are much higher.

Also we really don’t know how many cases there are in the US as our CDC only officially allowed testing starting at the end of the last week of February. Therefore the REPORTED NUMBERS WE SEE ARE MEANINGLESS due to lack of testing all along.

Even CDC director Robert Redfield admitted that the US had deaths from COVID-19 before they were able to test for it and even now test kits for the virus are in great shortage and people requesting to be tested for it has been denied. Therefore there’s no way we can tell if the assumed flu patients in the past few months are actually COVID-19 patients. This is unacceptable considering even a small country like S. Korea is testing 15,000 a day.

Besides mind boggling low number of tests performed in the US, there is also severe sampling bias that muddles our understanding of the origin of the virus and how it has been transmitting around to devise containment strategies. The US CDC’s extremely narrow criteria for testing basically requires persons with direct travel to China or direct contact with a known COVID-19 patient (which rules out almost everyone) to even be considered for testing. Only when local testers do not follow the CDC guideline completely can anyone even have a chance to be tested.

Even right now after President Trump announced that anyone who wants a test can get a test, it is still near impossible to get tested for COVID-19

Even after CDC started allowing testing this month, most places like LA County is “NOT PLANNING TO TEST PATIENTS who have the symptoms but are otherwise healthy enough to be sent home to self-quarantine”

The governor of Ohio made a statement a few days ago that he estimates 100,000 infections in Ohio went undiagnosed due to lack of test kits and he said other states are in the same situation. Though this number is not scientifically confirmed and I think it is highly exaggerated, but even if the actual number is only 1/10 of that, the total undetected infections in the country would be more than the world total currently reported.

I really hope CDC will revise the criteria for testing to make it less impossible to meet and also local hospitals and testing centers will ramp up testing so we can have a better understanding of the situation and pinpoint outbreak clusters. But my point here is that we are far underestimating the situation due to lack of data so I recommend we stay cautious.

Very kind offer ...

This is a really nice offer, especially considering how they are impossible to get from local and online stores. Thanks for the efforts!

do u have pics of the masks what to look for ??

Long story short:

I read about a study somewhere, that human body “has hard time” pushing fluids & viruses to as small particles as aerosols while sneezing.
Aerosols stay airborne for long but small droplets fall down faster.

The point of the article was, like you said, that even a normal more coarse filtering of breathing air than N95 might also be a good idea for normal folks.
There was a mention also, that during SOME medical operations aerosols may occur but can´t remember the whole article & can´t find it again anymore :expressionless:

I’m just giving you guys a heads up. You can ask Fireflies or wait until he posts pictures on his website.

Any thread or post with the best of intentions is a welcome respite .

Thanks for the heads-up.

We need more positive news like this.

FF just told me they received the high quality FFP2 respirators from Russia. I looked up FFP2 and it is what’s required in France for COVID-19 and is in extreme shortage.

He also received some FDA certified KN95 respirators from China manufacturers, which he will compare their quality with the FFP2 prior to posting on his website. The approximate price is cheaper than what I seen online and if he can stock them in his US warehouse, we wouldn’t have to wait 1.5-2 months for them, which is the standard wait time right now. I will not post the price until he determines which one is high quality enough to sell.

Here are the spec comparisons of the different facemask/respirator ratings:

Also as explained in my previous posts, the US NIH and Chinese experts already confirmed the virus is airborne and can remain infectious in the air for at least 3 hours. This means US CDC’s recommendation for non health care professionals to not wear respiratory protection is BAD ADVICE as their reason is the virus is not airborne. Currently only countries with extreme shortage of facemasks/respirators are telling the public not to wear facemasks.

The good news is that any filtration is better than no filtration. Here is a test showing effectiveness of different material at filtering 0.02 micron particle sizes. This is much smaller than coronavirus that averages 0.125 micron. This shows even a cotton shirt wrapped around your face will significantly reduce the viral concentration you inhale.

What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks?

The above images are results from two separate studies showing N95 respirators and Surgical Mask performs the same in preventing respiratory virus infections.

This article explores the question of whether wearing masks can stop the spread of the Coronavirus. It includes a study that shows adults taking care of children with flu at home reduces infection by 75% by wearing either surgical mask or N95.

This article compares the filtration effectiveness of different material at filtering 0.007 micron particles, which is MUCH SMALLER than coronavirus.

This test compares filtration effectiveness against virus sized particles (0.02 to 1 micron) of homemade mask, surgical mask, and N95 respirator.

Update from Fireflies after testing his samples:

He also said the Level 3 masks he has is good quality!

I’m curious how he tested them too! I didn’t think it would be possible to test without expensive professional equipment.

I ordered 50 pieces of the Level 2 masks, DHL shipping - no confirmation of the order. It's been about 1 1/2 days since placing it, PP transaction went through. Does anyone know if he really has these and will be shipping them? Anyone else order some?