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HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Crosstex International, a subsidiary of Cantel Medical Corp. (NYSE: CMN), announced today the publication of sponsored research that suggests a far greater infection prevention value of medical face masks, commonly referred to as surgical masks, than previously understood. The key outcome challenges conventional wisdom that a medical mask or respirator is most effective when worn by a person attempting to protect oneself from exposure to infectious matter.  Instead, if FDA-cleared medical face masks are worn at the potential source of the infection, the level of overall protection is magnified up to 300-fold.  Published in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the research study, entitled "Quantifying Exposure Risk and Mask Protection", was conducted by Keith Diaz, MD, and Gerald Smaldone, MD, PhD, at Stony Brook University Medical Center in Stony Brook, NY.

This study supports the newest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines (September 2010) on Seasonal Influenza Prevention Strategies in Healthcare Settings, which recommend the use of medical face masks to minimize potential exposure to influenza viruses in healthcare settings.  The simulated bench study examined the efficacy of N95 respirators and medical face masks in their ability to reduce exposure to infectious particles when used either as protective devices (to protect the wearer) or as "source control" devices (to control infection at the source, such as a person with flu-like symptoms).  The authors' results demonstrate "the most important factor in reducing exposure was deflection of exhaled particles at the source."  

"This evidence offers healthcare providers and public health officials new insight into the benefit of medical face masks as source control

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