How to choose the right face mask for your protection?

The UK government has finally made it mandatory for people to wear masks in public place, failing which a fine of £100 will be faced by the individual not wearing a mask. The entire country is divided on the matter, some received the news with a positive fervour while some think of it as a question of “free-will”. While we don’t subject anyone’s opinion to scrutiny,  here’s some friendly advice for everyone reading this article: The scientific consensus is that wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of this deadly virus. The choice is yours of course!

Why must you wear a mask?

Coronavirus spreads through tiny droplets that are sprayed into the air by infected people when they talk, cough or sneeze. These droplets can easily enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth, either directly or after touching a contaminated object. Wearing face coverings creates a physical barrier, preventing the spread of droplets and hence the infection.

But not all masks are equal — here's what you need to know about choosing the right face mask

Disposable Vs. Reusable

Face masks primarily come under these two categories, and while the former is easy to use, it is also meant to be thrown away after a single use. This means that using disposable masks during the COVID-19 pandemic would lead you to create a lot of trash. Choosing a reusable face mask is, therefore, financially, and environmentally a much friendlier option.

Choosing a Reusable Mask

Scientific studies suggest that a reusable mask's ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is closely linked to both: the quality of fabric and the number of layers of fabric used. Here are some important tips you need to keep in mind when choosing your mask:

  • There are some new fabrics in the market that are Treated with Anti-microbial agents. MaskNow is one such company in UK that is selling masks manufactured by Livinguard (A swiss technology company) through its online platform. Know more about their technology here.
  • Fabrics with tighter weaves and thread thickness are better than loose weaves and thin ones.
  • Fabrics with three layers have proven to be much effective than two or one layer
  • Adding a filter layer between fabric layers improves it effectiveness by a lot
  • When choosing a face mask, opt for one that fits snugly over your mouth and nose — The ideal ones have a nose bridge to keep it in place
  • The mask should also be breathable, hence choosing one with a valve is not a bad option especially if you have trouble breathing in cloth masks

It is important to understand that wearing such items inappropriately and failing to understand the risk of cross contamination can increase the risk of infection. Wearing a face mask does not guarantee that the wearer or those around them will avoid infection, it can only help by decreasing the chances of you catching the infection.

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