Do's & Don'ts of Wearing a Face Masks
WHO reports as well as various Health organizations are advocating that Medical Face Masks are to be used by Both individuals who have symptoms to prevent spreading the disease and those who don‚Äôt have symptoms to prevent catching the disease.
This is highly recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. Respiratory etiquette (i.e. covering of the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing) also aims at limiting the spread of infection from an infected individual. It has also been proven that people with no to mild symptoms who may be in an early stage of the infection have also aided in spreading the virus to such huge proportions.
However, with the huge demand for commercial masks by the public, there have been cases of people substituting the face masks with absurd, groundless materials that would not be helpful at all at preventing the spread of the virus. There have been even cases where people are selling senseless, implausible masks made of flimsy material which would give a false sense of security and hope to the ones who are using them. Here are a few material Masks which should not be adopted during the pandemic.
Paper Masks: Paper towel masks are not effective as they are mostly meant for a single cough or sneeze and they tend to tear easily. So it is not recommended to wear nor purchase these masks.
Pitta and other polyurethane masks: These are mostly used to block pollen during spring. they are not at all effective against smaller particles as some of the protests in Hong Kong found out after being pelted with tear liquids, etc. If they can‚Äôt stop liquids or fluids, then they cannot stop the virus from entering your body.
Activated charcoal or cotton masks: Mostly made for usage against Air Pollution, these masks have been proven to be almost ineffective against the spread of the COVID-19 unless two-three of them are piled together and used.
Soft medical/surgical/reusable/washable masks: These can protect against 95% of the pathogens and are easiest to procure from shops and medical facilities. They often have multiple layers stitched together to protect fluid from exiting and entering. Always check for BFE or PPE ratings on the package.
N95 construction masks without exhaling valve (usually white or labeled OH&S): These masks are 99.6% effective against most of the pathogens and are made to prevent fluids from exit or entry and are easier to breathe in. however they are useless against minuscule gases to the likes of tear gases.
N95 mask with exhale valve: They provide the same protection as N95 masks without a mask but are easier for respiration purposes. Although reports say they are ineffective against teargases, you have to note that tear gases are made for the very purpose to penetrate and subdue the penetrator thus cannot be associated with virus conditions. However, they have been proven very effective in prevention fluids from entering and exiting through.
3M half face respirators: With the correct filters that are certified for P100, organic vapor, and multi-gas, you'll get good protection against tear gas, air pollution, and pathogens. Mostly used by police officers of various European and Asian countries, they have been known to be very effective in preventing any type of gases from entering the covered area. Full face respirators by 3M offer more protection for your face from pathogens but may prevent you from using eyewear, helmets, etc.
NBC full-face respirators: The best possible gas protection you can reasonably buy. Used by journalists all over the world to get protection from tear gases and war zones, these masks are not easily available to the general public and can only be procured by extensive means.
Buy widely available washable/reusable face masks to prevent the infection. Let us stay informed and safe to curb COVID-19.