Amidst COVID-19 threat and other preventive measures like washing hands frequently, maintaining social distancing, one of the most important preventive measures is wearing a mask to cover your face to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When it comes to face masks, there are different masks available in the market during this pandemic.
The question is which is the best face mask you should use? Well, it entirely depends on your exposure outdoors. It depends on whether you are a healthcare worker or staying at home or belong to a specific industry.
Certainly, there is a better mask- FFP2 for COVID-19 to check out for.
They are seal-tested masks that include FPP2/3 and N95 forms. The masks come with twisted fibers and help filter pathogens present in the air. These masks are fit perfectly to your face. Also, the edges on the masks create a seal around your nose and mouth.
These masks are recommended for health care workers.
Masks with different filtration capacity
Nowadays, plenty of masks are available in the market with a distinct level of protection which is based on their filtration capacity.
The FFP2 mask provides a higher level of protection against the Coronavirus. These masks are efficient but you may not find them comfortable to wear as they tend to make the process of breathing a little difficult and are quite warm.
FFP2 masks offer adults nearly 50 times the protection against COVID-19 as compared to home-made masks and offer 25 times much protection than the surgical masks. They offer a higher level of protection than FFP1.
FFP2 masks are tested in the administration of inspiration that is from outside to inside. The tests ensure the filter efficiency and also leakage. They are made according to the European standard EN 149: 2001.
As per these standards, you can find 3 different types of disposable respirators
FFP2 offers 94% filtration capacity and 8% leakage inside. It is mainly used in different sectors like
It helps protect the plague, avian flu, SARS, tuberculosis, pneumonic plague, and new coronavirus. FPP2 mask is equivalent to an N95 respirator.
COVID-19 is contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets from one person to another. The infection spreads when a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, talks, and sneezes.
These respiratory droplets can enter the noses and mouths of people close to the infected person upon entering the lungs.
According to recent studies, some percent of individuals with COVID-19 are “asymptomatic” that is they do not show any symptoms yet they can transmit the COVID-19 virus to others.
All these factors are worrisome and need a preventive measure to control the spread of COVID-19. Hence, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face covering for people in public settings to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Also, people should wear cloth face masks in places where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
How does cloth face masks help?
Cloth face masks prevent the spread of COVID-19 from infected people to others.
Wearing a cloth face mask can safeguard people in your surroundings especially those who are suffering from chronic illness as getting COVID-1 infection in such people can worsen their health.
Cloth face masks can be used by the general public in public places to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It can be used as a preventive measure so that together we can manage the spread of the virus. Apart from cloth face coverings, maintaining social distancing, washing hands frequently and cleaning and sanitizing things we use can help us keep the virus away.
Cloth masks are not surgical masks
The cloth face masks are not surgical masks or respirators. They are simple face masks made at home or bought from the pharmacy.
At present, respirators and surgical masks are preserved for health care workers.
Face masks are not PPE (personal protective equipment). Neither is they the correct substitutes for PPE like N95 masks or medical facemasks used in health care settings or workplaces where these facemasks and respirators are recommended for wearer’s protection.
Personal protective equipment – Face shields
Face shields available at present are personal protective equipment devices used by a lot of workers from different sectors like medical, veterinary, dental etc. to protect their facial area from sprays, splashes of body fluids.
Face shields are used in combination with other PPE equipment and are termed as - adjunctive personal protective equipment. Well, there are millions of users of face shields and the instructions for use vary with each governmental firm or society.
Face shields offer a lot of advantages as compared to normal masks like
• Quite comfortable to wear
• Safeguards a large area of the face
• Less claustrophobic
• Less absorption of facial heat (dermal)
• Less fogging as compared to goggles
• No effect on breathing tolerance
• No face fit test needed
• Can be disinfected easily
• Wearers don’t need to have a clean-shaven beard
• Easy to put on and take off
• Vocalization is not disturbed
• Can wear with other eye or face PPE
• Do not hinder facial expressions or nonverbal communication
• Less patient anxiety
• Safeguards against self-inoculation around a large part of the face
• If used in combination with a protective facemask, it increases the life of the facemask
N95 offers added protection. They are engineered to prevent small particles (up to 95%) entering the mouth and nose. Remember, these masks work only when worn face fit and are not ideal for children or people having facial hair.
N95 respirators make breathing a little difficult so it can be harmful to someone who just started showing COVID-19 symptoms which includes breathlessness and coughing.
Surgical masks are believed to be suitable in a clinical setting as they come with different protective equipment as well as strict hygiene measures.
These masks are replaced frequently and are meant for one time usage only.
The ideal mask for protection against COVID-19
Face shields- Your very own protective personal protective equipment
Well, infected people are asked to wear face masks but to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 virus using a face shield can be useful. Healthy individuals can use face shields while going out in public areas or caring for a sick person at home to avoid contracting the infection.
A face shield offers a higher level of protection as compared to face masks as it covers the eyes too.
You get full coverage for the face and this prevents even the tiniest of droplets to pass through the shield. Face shields protect your face against pathogens, splashes, and sprays. Hence a face shield is effective in preventing viral droplets & saliva from going inside your body via mouth, eyes, or nose. It ensures safety against virus to a greater extent.
Also, face shield help you avoid touching your face, eyes, and mouth which keep you away from virus transmission.
All natural face shields
It is the time when you are thinking about protecting your family by all means. Right from their hygiene to masks you want everything right. If you are thinking for the best protection and all-natural protection for your family in the COVID-19 pandemic situation, then you can shift to bamboo face masks or face shields to offer your family natural protection against the virus.
Using natural face shields will offer protection against the COVID-19 virus and you will not face problems like fogging, vision distortion etc. These natural shields also give you protection against all potential contamination.
You can use these face shields in combination with other face mask like FFP2/3 mask to extend the life of respective FFP2/FFP3 mask by opting for PM2.5 washable & reusable stylish masks.
These natural masks can act as cover masks for your FFP2/3 masks.
Organic face masks
If you are keen on wearing face masks then organic face masks can help you get protection against coronavirus, bacteria, pathogens and airborne particles. You can purchase organic FFP2 mask which is equivalent to N95 masks and comes with a filtration capacity of 95% +
The mask is 4 layered masks made of bamboo and the active carbon layer comprising of coconut charcoals and bamboo makes its framework highly porous.
What if you can add organic bedding to add to the comfort of your family? When the world is working towards maintaining hygiene, social distancing, and keeping bacteria, and viruses away, it should be incorporated in every possible manner.
You can switch to organic bed sheets made with the help of bamboo extracts for giving your family freedom from pests, bacteria, and bed bugs.
You can give your family a sound and healthy sleep. These bamboo bed sheets come with antibacterial properties that keep the bacteria and bugs away. Indirectly you are getting the benefits of natural properties of bamboo to improve your lifestyle.
With each shower, we eliminate bacteria and germs from the body. Certainly, our bathing accessories like soap/towel etc should help us get rid of harmful bacteria. You can use an organic bamboo soap bar to clean the impurities and deep cleanse your body. Along with the soap bar, you can also try a bamboo towel which is super soft, antibacterial, and hypoallergenic.