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Buy 3M N95 respirator masks for less!

Friday, June 21, 2013

I need to get some good respirator masks to filter out particulate matter which are very small. These are particles that will enter the lungs and can affect the heart too, causing serious health problems.

I am asthmatic and I am beginning to feel the effects of this extreme air pollution although I am indoors in air conditioned environments most of the time. My eyes feel gritty, my nose is runny and I wheeze when I breathe. It is just terrible.

"Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream.

"Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your heart. Small particles of concern include "inhalable coarse particles" (such as those found near roadways and dusty industries), which are larger than 2.5 micrometers and smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter; and "fine particles" (such as those found in smoke and haze), which are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller.

"Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:
  • premature death in people with heart or lung disease,
  • nonfatal heart attacks,
  • irregular heartbeat,
  • aggravated asthma,
  • decreased lung function, and
  • increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing."


Things do not look like they are going to improve anytime soon. In fact, it is getting worse! We must take action to protect our health and wearing an N95 mask is going to help.

An N95 mask is able to filter out particulates as tiny as 0.03 micrometer and it filters out at least 95% of airborne particles. However, I heard prices of these masks have doubled in Singapore! Profiteers!

So, I set out on a mission to find a source of cheap N95 respirator masks!

Click on the photo below and check it out:
Click on "OTHER OPTIONS" in the website and you will find an option for a box of 20 for only US$14.99!
3M N95 Particulate Respirator Masks, Standard, 80/cs

Say "NO" to profiteers!

Related posts:
1. Protect ourselves from the haze.
2. Buy N95 masks at Unity Healthcare.


chrisyoong said...

Wouldn't the shipping of US$87.51 on UPS negate any savings?

AK71 said...

Hi Chris,

UPS is expensive.

Use vPOST:
Shop on US websites and ship to Singapore with vPOST.

Should be cheaper but I guess we should buy more than 20 masks to see savings.

AK71 said...

See vPOST shipping rates:

Shipping rates from USA to Singapore by vPOST.

Base charge: S$13.40
Weight charge: S$7.20 per kg
Fuel surcharge: S$1.90 per kg

3M N95 masks are light weight. So, how it would cost to ship to Singapore is likely to depend on the dimensions of the packaging.

Volumetric weight = [ length(cm) x breadth(cm) x height(cm) ] / 5,000cm

AK71 said...

I found out that the size of the packaging is 20cm by 15cm by 15cm. Volumetric weight is 0.9 kg.

This means delivery would cost $22.50 by vPOST.

Buying 3 boxes (60 masks) would cost $40.70 to deliver by vPOST. Cost of delivery per mask: 67.8c.

Add 97.4c (cost of the mask US$0.75 x 1.3) and each mask would cost us a grand total of S$1.65. :)

Tien Song Chuan said...

Post date:
20 Jun 2013 - 10:38pm

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said Thursday that there are sufficient stocks of N95 masks to meet national needs and that there was no need to stockpile.

Large retail and pharmacy chains will have the masks available for purchase by Thursday evening, said the ministry.

The government currently has 9 million N95 masks in stock, and there are plans to purchase more.

At the first of the daily press briefings on the haze in Singapore, chaired by officials from MOH and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, reporters were told that the 24-hour PSI for Friday is expected to be in the “very unhealthy” band of 201-300.

Persons with chronic medical conditions, especially lung or heart disease, are advised to avoid all outdoor activity. Pregnant women, children, and the elderly should also do likewise.

A special scheme by MOH will be implemented on Friday at polyclinics and designated GP clinics for the young and elderly suffering from respiratory problems and conjunctivitis because of the haze.

MOH will subsidise S$30 per visit at designated GP clinics while Singaporeans will pay no more than S$10 at polyclinics.

The government has also set up an emergency information portal for latest haze updates.

In addition, the National Environment Agency will be providing 24-Hour PSI readings hourly instead of just at 8am, 4pm and 12pm. This is because the agency's health advisories are based on the 24-hour measurement, which is a better reflection of the total exposure of an individual to particular matter levels.

Hospitals will also be making extra efforts to ensure the safety of patients vulnerable to the haze, said Professor K Saktu, Director of Medical Services at MOH.

He said: "Patients who have got respiratory or cardiac problems, one of the issues they must deal with is to move the patients to an area that is not near the window where any changes in the exterior will be immediately reflected. Even if they get exposed to the haze, there is medical treatment available."

Source: CNA

AK71 said...

Hi Tien,

This was what I heard too but when I tried to buy masks in the shops, they were all out of stock!

Today, I went to the polyclinic and they were also out of stock!

Anyway, a friend told me she just bought 2 masks from Unity Healthcare. Apparently, they have stock now but each person is only allowed to buy 2.

If there is enough stock, why ration? Hmmm...

Tien Song Chuan said...

Another profiteering? Now the airlines!

国人出国“避烟” 带动机票价上涨
21/06/2013 on 联合晚报







Tien Song Chuan said...

Haze is Good for Business:
I have identified a list of businesses that will be doing very well this period:
face masks, air purifiers, air con, tourism, airlines, clinics, online courses, indoor games, video games, shopping malls...

INVS 2.0 said...

Profiteers, during a national crisis, will face execution by beheading and confiscation of family wealth to compensate to the needy, under Qing. :D

There is a mainland woman selling N95 at a nearby MRT station for $2 each! How terrible is that. The elderly patients and terminally-ill ones in some non-air con hospitals are choking and can't find masks while these healthy ones are seizing up the masks and sell them high.

INVS 2.0 said...

Btw, the N95 covers mouth and nose but not the eyes. PM 2.5 particles can still enter via the eyes.

Wear gas mask instead? :[

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

If you see someone with a N95 mask and a pair of industrial goggles, that would be me. ;)

EY said...

Hi AK,

I've found a couple of deals on eBay USA which I'm considering and would also like to share with readers with Borderlinx Shipping Account in USA (offered by Citibank) or vPost.

3M 8210 + Particulate Respirator N95 (Box of 20 masks) – USD10.95 + Shipping $4.99 within USA (Add $1 for combined shipping)

3M™ Particulate Respirator 8110S, N95 20/Case for smaller faces – USD21.72, Free shipping within USA ($24.05 First Class shipping to Singapore)

SAS 8610 N95 RESPIRATOR BOX OF 20 MASK 3M 8210 – USD15, Free Shipping within USA

3M 8000 N95 PARTICULATE RESPIRATOR DUST MASK - 30 PK – USD14.95, Free Shipping within USA

The first deal is similar to the 3M masks on sale here. The second one is a smaller version for kids and those who do not have a BIG face. :P

The third deal is from a 3M competitor brand.

The fourth deal seems like the best deal. 30pcs for USD14.95. But I hope somebody could enlighten me if it would be good enough for our haze condition. It's N95 but the product code is '8000' instead of '8210'. What the difference? :(


EY said...

Hi AK,

I found info on the 3M N95 8000series.

Seems like it works the same as the 8210 in terms of efficiency in blocking out non-oil based particles approx. 0.3 micron in size. There's quite a bit of savings buying this version since most people wouldn't need to wear the mask for an extended period of time staying outdoors.


AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

Thanks for sharing your findings! :)

EY said...

Hi AK,

I just purchased 2 boxes of N95 8000 from this eBay seller:

USD8.99 per box of 30 with free shipping within USA. About SGD0.40 per piece. Best deal thus far I can find.



AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

That is cheap! Let us know once you receive the parcel and how much it costs to ship to Singapore. Thanks. :)

Shopinfrenzy said...

Hi everyone, if you're still looking for masks, might want to try your luck at Mount Faber Safra. Bought mine at $2/pc, also comes in box of 35 for $70...

N95 Kelly Clarkson brand, the shape is kinda like a duck mouth :)

Clueless Punter said...

AK, just a heads up, please keep an eye out on your credit card that you used to buy from Medex. Last Friday i ordered some masks after i saw your post, and to pay, I used one of my debit card that I have which is from a neglected savings account. Early this morning i woke up to find about 20 sms from DBScards asking me to enter the securecode.
I quickly checked the history and had all these small payments to facebook credits, starbucks credit etc. i was lucky my main cards were not hit by fraud. Im quite certain it was from that site as i have never used this card for any other online transaction, so please be careful of this!

AK71 said...

Hi Clueless Punter,

Thank goodness for the Secure Code feature! I have this feature in my Citibank and UOB cards too.

So, did you use vPOST? How much did it cost to ship to Singapore?

Clueless Punter said...

AK, I had this misconception that the securecode was required but it seems that in some cases it is not. The helpful staff at DBS said that some online merchants do not require it. But at least it provides some alert if not i wouldnt have noticed it!

Its been a week and the status on Medex just says shipped, but it hasnt reached my vpost warehouse in USA so Im not sure how much will it cost.

AK71 said...

Hi Clueless Punter,

So far, all my online purchases with my Citibank card requires a secure code.

I am crossing my fingers here.

EY said...

Hi AK,

My 3M N95 8000 (2 boxes X 30pcs) which I bought at USD8.99 each box has been delivered to my Borderlinx address in Ohio. As US shipping was free, I only had to pay for the DHL service back to Singapore. To ship the 2 boxes of masks alone would have cost me SGD23.04. The volume metric weight is 0.89kg. As I have other stuff in my suite, the combined shipping came up to SGD55.68 for 4.35kg. In other words, I paid SGD11.40 to ship the masks. In all, the unit cost of my masks would be SGD0.58/pc. Quite an incredible deal! :D


AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

That is a good deal you got from the eBay seller. :D

As for the difference between the 8000 and the 8210, here is the official statement I found from 3M:

3M does offer a wide variety of NIOSH approved products such as our new 3M 8000 N95 Particle Respirator, our classic, 3M 8210 N95 Particulate Respirator and our durable 3M 8511 Particulate Respirator.

The new, economical 3M 8000 N95 Particle Respirator is recommended by 3M for light duty or short duration applications where exposure to particulates may be a concern, as in bagging, sweeping, yard maintenance or working in other dusty environments.

The 3M 8210 N95 Particulate Respirator is the industry benchmark for N95 protection.
3M recommends it for work settings that involve moderate workplace applications such as, grinding, sanding, sheet-rocking, woodworking, maintenance/repair, and certain other applications where airborne particles are generated.

Er.. what's the difference again? ;p

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