With the coronavirus pandemic, the new normal is different, with strict observance of social distancing protocols in public places. Besides, everyone must wear a face mask while in public. Though not foolproof protection, face masks help contain the spread of the virus.
Here are some of the things to look for in a face mask during purchase:
Disposable or Reusable?
Disposable masks begin to break down and become less effective after each wear; thus, you should only wear them once. However, from an environmental perspective, they are not the best option. Less than a year of using masks, and already there have been dozens of reports of disposable masks washing up on shorelines.
Both types of masks are equally safe and effective, depending on the material. Only wear a disposable mask if it is the only option, but bear in mind that reusable masks are a better long-term solution.
Most importantly, go for a reusable mask that should be made from a durable material. That is because it is to be subjected to thorough hot water cleaning after each use.
A good quality mask fabric should be breathable and, at the same time, block your air droplets from coming out on the other side. Research shows that it is more about the quality of the fabric than the type of material.
High-quality fabrics boast of a tighter weave that does a perfect job at blocking droplets from passing through. Simultaneously, there may impact airflow, making it impossible to breathe. In such situations, your breath finds an alternative route, allowing the spread of respiratory droplets.
According to the new guidelines by the WHO, cotton sloth masks should have at least four layers. The inner layer should be made of a cotton blend that can absorb moisture, while the outer layer should be made of a polyester blend that can block the penetration of contamination into the wearer’s nose and mouth.
Safety Markings and Certification
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, health agencies across the world have been warning citizens about the sale of fake and defective masks. Just recently, authorities in London seized half a million-plus masks with fake safety markings. In California, two men were arrested as they tried selling face masks with fake 3M labels.
Protect yourself from scammers by only purchasing masks from authorized sellers. Also, if possible, you should verify the seller’s safety certificate with the issuing body.
Masks should be well-fitting, i.e., should not cause any trouble with breathing, nor should they slip from their position in public. The face mask should fit comfortably from the nose to the chin running backward to the ears. Notably, there would be no need to put on a face mask if air can get through any of these three outlets. Thus, find the right fit of masks for both you and your young ones.
The pandemic has created a new normal both for humanity and the environment. People should protect themselves and those around them by buying masks. We hope this article will help you get yourself and your loved ones the right face mask.