Experts such as the CDC (Centre for disease control and prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization) have stated that wearing face masks helps control the spread of the COVID virus. There are now many different masks available to people. There are various face coverings, from cloth masks to disposable medical masks. In some cases, people purchase masks in medical supplies stores since these have guaranteed quality and efficiency. But the people’s mask choice is dependent on availability. People will utilize what they have. But the question is, how effective are each of these types of face coverings?
One-use surgical mask
These masks are designed to be flat, thin, and have a paper-like texture. They are either white or light blue. According to a study in 2013, these masks are effective at filtering out 60% of tiny airborne particles. In many cases, they are intended to mitigate droplets, sprays, and splatters. Being diligent in wearing these masks in outdoor spaces can considerably reduce the spread of many respiratory infections. These masks are available in most medical supplies stores.
But these masks are only designed to be used once. It Is crucial to dispose of them after wearing them.
Fabric masks with filter
Some masks will come with filter pockets. You can make DIY cloth masks with a space for the filter. You can utilize facial tissues to serve as a filter. Place the folded tissue in the filter compartment. Make sure to change the tissue daily.
Experts recommend utilizing a polypropylene material for the filter. It is a durable synthetic fabric that is commonly used in upholstery. This material can hold an electrostatic charge, which helps trap tiny particles. Utilizing a polypropylene filter to a cloth mask can significantly increase filtration from 35% to 70%.
Store-bought cloth masks
A store-bought cloth mask’s effectiveness will depend on its construction. According to experts, you should select a mask with up to three layers of cloth. Ideally, the fabric should be tight weave 100% cotton.
An ordinary cloth mask will only be 50% effective. But high-quality masks can be protective for up to 80 to 95%. Masks that are made of thin materials are only 10 to 20% effective.
Facemasks that are cone style are moulded and fit snugly over the mouth and nose. Typically, there is a strip of metal near the top so the wearer can fit the mask perfectly at the nose’s bridge. According to experts, cone style facemasks are not effective in mitigating droplets and sprays than cloth facemasks that utilize quilting cotton. But cone style facemasks offer more protection than a bandanna.
N95 masks offer optimum protection against COVID and other respiratory diseases. It can filter out up to 95% of inhaled particles. But an N95 mask should only be reserved for healthcare providers. These masks are in short supply. If you have any N95 respirator masks stored in your home, you should consider donating them to first responders in your local hospital.
Experts say that every type of mask, from cloth to disposable designs, have varying effectivity in filtering hazardous particles. Whether you chose a n95 mask or cotton mask, you must ensure that you are wearing them properly whenever you are out or in close proximity with other people. They offer protection and must be worn at all times when going outdoors. Wearing masks protects others as well as yourself from respiratory droplets and other dangerous airborne particles.