Following on from the last blog post about PPE (personal protection equipment) and whether it will protect you from Covid-19. We felt that we didn’t cover the subject completely and there were still a few more things to say that will help people understand its use better.
The medical profession have used facemasks for many years. But the reasons they do seems to have been misunderstood – Nurses, doctors and surgeons wear facemasks to protect the patient, NOT themselves! It protects them very little, if medical face masks protected nurses we would see no fatalities from Covid-19 in the medical profession.
So the medical scrubs/facemasks are to protect the patient who is already in need of care from getting other illnesses and not the wearer. Whereas, rated facemasks are to protect the wearer and are rated to a standard to do so. Although N95 and higher rated facemasks will have some protection against the spread of Covid-19 they are NOT rated for it, and are not a “silver bullet” stopping the infection.
The bottom line….
So, don’t get fooled into thinking facemasks/dust masks will keep you 100% safe! Most masks are for dust, and are rated for dust particles, not to protect against Covid-19 or any other kind of biohazard. A tight fitting mask (respirator) with a filter is best if purchasing a mask. Better alternatives are
1. Social distancing – Which has been proved to work, so even if you are wearing a mask, keep the social distance gap (two meters in UK). Or
2. Social isolation – Staying at home and having little or no physical contact with anyone else. If you don’t meet with anyone else in person, then you can’t get infected.
The reason to wear gloves has been similarly misunderstood. Once again the reason that the medical profession wears gloves is to prevent infection from dirty hands, and the best way to do this is having a pair of sanitised gloves on. – Then once finished with a patient, they remove the gloves and throw them away! Putting a new pair of gloves on when they see a new patient. – Gloves are not worn to stop infections getting onto the skin and then in through pours (this can not happen). Gloves are worn so you aren’t washing your hands whenever you touch something and can guarantee the gloves are sterile.
The bottom line….
To use gloves safely – you touch one surface/one person, then take the gloves off and throw them away. Then put a new pair of gloves on. So one pair of gloves a day will cross contaminate every surface you touch during the day. If you touch a contaminated surface and then your face, you will contaminate your face. If you sneeze on your gloves, you will contaminate every surface you touch with your gloves until you change them.
As with facemasks, don’t get fooled into thinking gloves are a magic bullet. If they’re made of sterile latex, the virus can still live on the surface of the glove and be transfered to anything that you touch, even removing them can be difficult without contaminating your hands on removal. This is why medical professionals also wash their hands after removing their gloves.
Never touch your face while wearing gloves, unless they’re new on and you’ve not touched anything else while wearing them.
Unlike facemasks and gloves, in the medical profession eye protection is used to protect the wearer. You may see either goggles, spectacles or face shields worn, these are to catch sneezes and coughs and stop them from hitting eyes or, with face shields, the whole face. The face shield does more to protect the wearer than a facemask does, without holes to let through vapourised fluids there is much less chance of contamination from coughs and sneezes.
One of the best things about goggles or faceshields it it’s a lot harder to touch your face or eyes wearing this kind of protection. It also makes you notice, how much you are touching your eyes or face.
The bottom line….
Goggles and eye protection are good, but not essential. You are more likely to accidently touch your face or eye with your fingers and infect yourself than get a direct infection of Covid-19 through your eye.
So what does it mean?
If you wear a facemask, buy a rated one or there’s little or no protection against getting covid (see my last blog post.)
If you use gloves, change them frequently, and don’t touch your face at all, or it significantly lessens your protection.
Using safety goggles/guards is good protection against sneezes/coughs, although only a risk indoors, where there’s no air circulating. People who have these symptoms should NOT be outside even if they don’t believe they have Covid-19.
Medical Personal protection equipment is best suited to the medical profession and if you really want to protect yourself, social distancing and social isolation are the most effective ways.
Who would have thought that what happens in a small market place in China could have such a massive impacton every county all over the world? Hitting every country and every economy equally, forcing people to stay at home to protect their health, families and their futures. Although according to recent reports from China the wet market initially assumed to be the center of infection has now been ruled out as the epicenter.
What does this mean to the average family? What can you do to make yourself safe? Do dust masks really work at all, or is it merely a psychological placebo, making us feel safer than we really are and leading us into a false sense of security?
We have tried to put as much information in one place details on personally combating the issues of Covid-19 gathered from the (WHO) World health organisation, Healthline.com, NHS direct, a few other sources and our own technical expertise regarding Personal protection equipment.
1 – Old t-shirt, handkerchief, dustmask or respirator? What is good enough to protect me?
Firstly, personal protection has been around a very long time. And there are many types of face covering, from a simple piece of cloth to a full isolated air system respirator. Maybe a better question is – What are dustmasks there to protect against? Dustmasks were developed predominantly to limit the amount of dust someone would breath into their lungs.
Firstly your mask must be rated for it to be protective! There are many ratings for dust masks; Essentially FFP1(also called P1), FFP2(also called P2), N95, N99 and FFP3(also called P3) are the most common, this certifies a mask’s protection factor (for example N95 is rated to protect against up to 95% of dust particles) These ratings are given to show how much dust can be in the atmosphere and still be used safely (FFP or P rating) or how much dust can be blocked and still protect the wearer (N ratings).
Dust particles floating in the air can be quite large compared with a liquid spray (a sneeze), or a gas (oxygen or nitrogen) and dust masks work by stopping only larger particles. There are 3 common dust mask ratings which are specifically graded regarding dust density and NOT for any other purpose. According to the World health organisation dust particles are from 1 to 100 µm (micros) is size whereas aerosols/liquid spray can be fractions of a micron (as stated in this piece from the US library of medicine.)
The UK government says – “if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it’s hard to stay away from people, such as on public transport..” and ” You are at higher risk of being directly exposed to respiratory droplets (released by talking or coughing) when you are within two metres of someone and have face-to-face contact with them. You can lower the risk of infection if you stay side-to-side rather than facing someone.”
So the bottom line is a dustmask will protect others if the wearer has Covid-19, but will do less to protect the wearer from getting it from others – Social distancing and washing your hands are much better preventions. Unless you buy a full face supplied air respirator a dustmask will provide little protection. Thin masks are no good at all, the thicker the barrier between you and the air the less likely you are to be infected.
US Library of medicine has some interesting information saying that masks are not “100% preventative, but are greater than 99% effective”. Bearing in mind these dust masks in their trial are graded N95. Also CEBM suggest more evidence and trials are needed to say that “face coverings” are significant in protecting people against Covid-19. Personally seeing these results was a surprise and changed my mind as to their effectiveness.
The US Library of medicine also say that a simple single or dual ply cloth mask is from only 60 – 80% effective, this effectiveness then degrades each time you wash it, degrading 20% after 4 washes to 40% – 30% effiency! Making these masks virtually useless compared to dust masks and respirators that are rated!
2 – A mask needs to be fitted properly to be effective!
So you’ve decided that you want to use a dustmask? Are you fitting or using it properly? For more in depth information the has done a study on just how effective a dust mask is…
1 – To work to the graded specifications the mask has to be covering nose and mouth completely. If your nose or mouth are exposed, you may as well be wearing no mask at all.
2 – Make sure the mask has a rating and/or is made of a thick material. – If it’s not rated your mask will fit into the 60% effective and lower category!
3 – The mask must be fitted without any gaps around the edges of the mask. These gaps will let contaminents and dust through.
4 – The mask must be tested, try to get fingers under the mask all around edges, if you can the mask will be ineffective.
5 – A use by date? On my dust mask? Yes, dust masks do have a use by date, this is not for the filters on the mask but for the life of the rubber straps.
3 – What about my eyes?
Yes exposed eyes are still a way into your body for infection. Once again we look at the US library of medicine which says that you can be infected through the eye. This is why washing hands and not touching your face are essential to avoid infection.
So yes, eye protection will help toward stopping infection through the eye, it also prevents touching of the eye with fingers. You’re more likely to touch or rub your eye with your fingers than getting direct infection through the eye.
Obviously if someone sneezes or coughs in your face with Covid-19 having eye protection will help.
4 – gloves and hand protection
Hand protection is mainly used instead of having to wash your hands all the time. So use the gloves and dispose of them or wash the gloves before using them again.
However it is advised that hands are washed as well as wearing gloves, to be doubly safe.
5 – Hygene and common sense
1 – The reasons for washing hands and cleaning surfaces
How can you tell what surfaces are contaminated with Covid-19? The simple answer is, you can’t. There have been studies on Covid-19’s life expency on every day items; metals, plastics, wood as well as skin or hair. So it’s better to be safe, than sorry.
According to the Lancet the virus is stable at 4 °C up to room temperature (24 °C) and can stay active on plastic and Stainless steel for up to 7 days! Can last on Glass, copper, paper and banknotes for up to 4 days. Cardboard for 24 hours and wood up to 48 hours! So cleaning surfaces, especially in unfamilar locations (when you don’t know who has been using door handles or surfaces before you) is essential to protect yourself and your family.
The best protection is of course washing your hands with soap and water to kill any virus on them. This works by the soap molecules sticking to the virus’ “lipid bilayer” and then letting the water wash it away and kill it. Science focus go into greater detail about how this happens on their website.
2 – The reasons for Social distancing.
With many diseases, including Covid-19, people are affected by them in different ways. Some people may be hit hard and die when infected, whereas others don’t display any symptoms at all. (Both Presymtomatic and Asymtomatic). So asymtomatic infected, don’t know and don’t think they have it therefore go out into public spreading the desease to others. Just because you don’t feel ill, doesn’t mean you aren’t infectious.
The CEBM reported on this in April. Saying “from 5% to 80% of people infected with covid-19 could be asymtomatic (showing no symptoms of a disease that they have)! Even taking an average of this percentage means 50% of people who are infected with Covid-19 may have mild or no symptoms at all but will be infectious.
Therefore the only reason we can ensure the safety of the vulnerable is to socially distance. Someone who is asymtomatic could be 2 meters (6 foot 6 inches) away safely from someone who has not got the virus. Why 2 meters you ask? Because when people talk they spray out aerosole/water vapour up to two meters.
However, when it comes to people who have the virus either asymptomatic or otherwise when they cough or sneeze, this safe distance increases significantly. As we can see from this post by Science focus an uncovered cough can spread infected droplets up to six meters, or a sneeze up to eight meters! (the length of a London Bus)
So the idea is prevention; having minimal contact means the virus has less or no chance to spread from person to person. If someone is at home the infection can’t be spread to or from that person. In 1918 they used exactly the same method to eradicate the influenza epidemic. These documented cases from National Geographic from the US help prove the point that it works very well when implemented properly.
3 – Contact tracing
This only becomes relevant if you test positive to covid-19 or have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive. Then you are tracked by the authorities and told to self isolate for 14 days even if you don’t have symtoms. This is the method South Korea has used to stop the epidemic effectively with less than 300 deaths in total.
4 – Trying not to touch your face
Most people don’t even notice when they touch their faces; that little itch, some sweat maybe, or adjusting your glasses. But your hands are a breeding ground for covid-19; touching money, hand-rails, desks, door handles, bells, self service check-out screens and many many other possible contaminated surfaces or objects. As we’ve seen some surfaces can have Covid-19 on them for up to 7 days in the right conditions. If you do touch your face, use a wrist or part of your hand you wouldn’t usually use, meaning it is less likely to infect yourself from contaminated objects by your own hand.
Do not touch your face if you’re wearing gloves! Yes, gloves are protecting you, but only from getting covid-19 on your hands. If you touch an infected surface with the glove, then touch your face with the glove, you will have the same risk as not wearing gloves at all.
5 – Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
As mentioned earlier a cough can travel up to six meters, and a sneeze eight meters. The spray can then hang in the air if for up to 30 minutes (inside, with no airflow) which can then infect anyone passing through this vapour.
6 -Dispelling the myths.
There seems to be lots of propaganda from people claiming the covid-19 pandemic is a “lie” or “disinformation”. Or that the Chinese created the virus in a lab or 5G is somehow responsible from spreading Covid-19. Over 1million people dead so far should prove these statements false. But, let’s ask the questions that need to be addressed…
1 – Is Covid-19 naturally occuring? – Why would anyone release a virus into their own population? They wouldn’t. They would send it to a different country and the survivors would never find out where it came from.
2 – Is this a real disaster or a complex manipulation? – Why would a country (let’s take the UK) shut everything down, loosing billions of pounds a day – in April the mail online reported £2.4 billion is being lost a day in the UK. Lockdown started on March 23rd and it’s now June so this is a total of almost £250 billion so far. Does it make sense to close a whole country on a whim, for the first time like this in over 100 years? Definitely not.
If either of these scenarios were true, it be the most expensive and stupid decision ever made by any country in the world ever, and every country has now implemented similar restrictions. It’s extremely difficult to gauge any possible advantage in shutting the worlds economies down for 3 months. Thinking logically, the suggestion is ludicrous!
3 – If it is natural and not a manipulation then why did it all happen now? – Because nature is chaotic and unpredictable. Everything is evolving. Your parents made you, and their parents made them, you have evolved in ways different to your parents and grandparents. When something lives it evolves, this virus is a colony of living organisms, therefore is also evolving. The virus jumped (much like bird-flu, swine-flu or ebola) from animals to humans. This virus could have evolved at anytime.
4 – Is the virus spread by 5G? This is totally impossible! It’s like asking if someone can get “herpes from watching their TV set”, or comparing apples to an architect’s blueprints. The 5G signal is a wireless frequency system, which beams information to and from devices. Virtual identical to 4G, 3G and so on with the exception of being faster and doesn’t have a physical existance.
5 – How about putting disinfectant or bleach into my body to kill Covid-19? It works on work surfaces! This is a dangerous and stupid suggestion. Ingest or inject either bleach or disinfectant can be extremely harmful, causing organ failure and in some cases death – This statement has been issued by the leading makers of disinfectants.
6 – Antibiotics will kill this virus dead! This is untrue, unfortunately antibiotics will do nothing. Antibiotics aren’t used against viruses, they are used to kill bacterial infections. For information on the myths about Covid19, visit this site.
7 – Can I get Covid-19 from my cat or dog? There is no evidence that animals have spread this disease at all, compared to lots of evidence saying humans have spread it across the globe. Getting covid from your cat is extremely unlikely. As far as we know the only case of Covid-19 that has been confirmed outside the human population was in the lion and tiger population at New York zoo – All of the animals made a full recovery. So potentially humans can spread it to other animals, but not animals to humans.
Hopefully we’ve helped dispell some myths and give more you more information on how to stay safe inside and outside our homes during the Covid-19 pandemic. We are all in this together, so please look after eachother and show some compassion and tolerance.
Please leave your spam at the door!
Many of you may have noticed how there’s not been all that many posts recently on this toolblog. Well there’s many reasons for this. One reason is the amount of spam/adverts/fake posts that are automatically created and flood the blog on a regular basis. Yes, I had all the IP blockers and other “spammer” tools but they had no or little effect. I would come on line with every intention of writing an interesting, useful or funny post, but instead have spent all my time “weeding” the spam from my comments, sometimes 1,000 a day! As I say this was until recently, I’ve got the spam down to 10 a month, which is a lot more palatable and means I can actually get on with writing that epic blog post.
This blog uses wordpress, which in my experience has many problems when it comes to being spammed by bots, before you start! You can take all the precautions, install all the add-ons and come back to the blog the next week with 5,000 – 10,000 spam comments you need to review, and delete or approve; mostly viagra, porn, dating, Russian, Polish or just weird random medical sites! But yes, there are some real comments in there too! Real actual people reading the blog, not just spam bots!
The one thing I’ve done which helped me get the spam down was putting the Google Captcha add-on into the blog. This means that when someone writes a comment, they have to click a Captcha box next to the comment they’re posting. Humans can, but bots can’t, so this gets rid of most of the spammers immediately. So my advice would be to install Google captcha as soon as possible to make your life easier, and you will be able to write blog posts, instead of sitting for hours ploughing through spam comments and rubbish. It doesn’t get rid of everything but it will mean the difference between spending an hour and spending five minutes taking care of your spam issues.
This, in turn, means that there should be more blog posts coming more regularly in the future with hopefully some guest bloggers too. So stay tuned.
The state of tools and of Christmas..
As we move into December in a few day’s time. Our thoughts turn to Christmas and the commercialism of the high street; Who started their Christmas sales around August 31st, with all the quality street and heros they had left over from last year. Here at Langs, we try to leave it till late November before we even think about putting up trees and decorations, and even then sometimes we don’t bother with all the frills and glitz.
Obviously being a commercial enterprise, we have suppliers who offer many goods they think would make incredible Christmas gifts. Rather than just pushing all these goods, we pick the best of what’s on offer (usually 10 or 12) and then recommend these as the best available deals for Christmas. These will be put into a separate post at the beginning of December.
Christmas and looking forward to 2020 and onwards…
We have some interesting Christmas bargains this year as you will see if you look over at Langs Industrial From torches by LED Lenser to Dewalt power drills. There’s something for everyone, even as a stocking filler.
This is a good opportunity to tell you our Christmas closure times for this year. Over the Christmas period we will be closing from the 21st December 2019 and then will be back on 2nd January 2020 bright and early for the new year!
In 2020 Langs will be celebrating their 74th year of trading since Fred Lang opened his little engineer’s supply back in 1946 – Making 2021 the magical 75th anniversary year since opening.
So lots to look forward to in the next few weeks, months and even years…
Interesting news from the USA! Stanley/Black and Decker who own Stanley, Black and Decker, DeWalt, Porter Cable, and Facom to name a few. Are hoping to own another large part of the hand tooling industry. They’ve put in a $1.95 Billion offer for Newell brands which owns Lenox, Hilmor, Dymo and Irwin tools.
As a result of this bid it’s sent Stanley Black and Decker’s share prices through the roof. But what does this mean to you? And what does this mean to the tools in your tool box? Will they be the same? Will they be as good? Will the tool lines be streamlined? All good questions.
If we take Stanley as an example. When Black and Decker purchased Stanley, they were a world renouned brand and extremely popular; a popularity well earned from years of producing high quality tools. Unfortunately for some, the new company formed streamlined Stanley’s range. Getting rid of less used and more expensive items; including their Yankee driver range, various artisan files, planes, rules, and tapes. Many would say this is updating the company, and is progress to fit a fast passed and innovative industry. Most of the new stanley range of products is built to the same high standard, and is still very popular. With the influx of more in the way of power tools, many would say that Stanley is indeed on the front edge of innovation and is keeping the company current and viable.
Personally, I think Stanley products are still excellent and ever evoloving. If they’re not popular with the customers, why make them? So I believe that Irwin, Lenox, Hilmor and Dymo are in good hands with Stanley Black and Decker. They may get streamlined, but hopefully they’ll be around with their most popular products for another 100 years.
If and when the deal goes through, we shall see what happens with both Stanley and Irwin.
To Lang’s surprise, many people who buy tools don’t actually know who Rodcraft are. Well, I suppose this isn’t SO surprising as they are mainly European with only one main supplier (F G Langs!) who sell their goods in the UK.
So, as an attempt to help people with just who Rodcraft are, we’ve decided to write this post to explain and to help you discover them if you’ve never heard of them. If you have heard of them, we hope to be informative to how large a range of equipment they produce.
What do Rodcraft do? Well this is what Rodcraft say on their website.
Since 1974, the Rodcraft brand stands for high-quality products and services. Founded in Germany, Rodcraft has grown steadily to become one of the world’s leading brands of pneumatic tools and workshop equipment dedicated to the vehicle service and industrial maintenance applications.
Through constant investment in research and development, the Rodcraft products feature many patented designs such as our composite sander series and latest impact wrenches.
With a strong European-based distribution channel, and local sales offices around the world, Rodcraft covers over 80 countries on a daily basis. We are close to our clients and able to provide fast service and support.
To ensure and guarantee long-life performance, many strict testing and quality inspections are conducted through the tool and equipment design, production and assembly stages.
When buying a Rodcraft product, you can be sure you are choosing quality and performance and getting one of the best designs available on the market today.
So now you know the background. Rodcraft have been around for 40 years, and in a very competitive European market place. They have only just begun to touch the UK marketplace.
What range of products do Rodcraft produce?
From small 1/4inch capacity air drills RC4105 to massive 1 1/2 inch drive impact air wrenches RC2530; Die grinders, angle grinders, percussion tools, sanders, screwdrivers, drills, impact drivers, impact wrenches, impact sockets, jacks, lights and other accessories and workshop equipment.
In Germany Rodcraft is synonymous with Desoutter and Chicago Pneumatic, known for their well built and presicion made products. Their most popular product being the 1/2 inch drive RC2277 The Beast; boasting 1250 Nm maximum real torque in reverse, Aluminum alloy clutch housing, Twin hammer mechanism, Full teasing trigger, NEW power setting system : 1 hand-operation, 1 position in reverse & 3 positions in forward and 360° swivel air inlet! Making it a must product for any car, bike or truck servicing center or garage when it’s so well priced @ £267.94 plus VAT (-30% discount from Langs.) £187.56 plus VAT!
So if you didn’t know who Rodcraft were, you may be surprised at how big their range is and what may interest you from their products. Take a look at Rodcraft’s website for more information http://www.rodcraft.com Or http://www.langsindustrial.com for UK prices and availability.