The corona virus pandemic has forced the whole world to adapt to a new way of life. Wearing masks in public places has become the new status quo. A mask nowadays is a necessity majorly for the sake of curbing the spread of the deadly virus . It’s even a government regulation in majority of the nations world wide to always wear a face mask in public places.
In response to this pandemic, it’s important to be conversant with the various types of hengityssuojain masks and how to take proper care of the reusable face mask.
Types and Classes of Face Masks
There are two main types of standard face masks:
- Surgical face masks.
- Respirator face masks.
All standard face masks are categorized in one of the two types. They are both designed to give protection against spreading of viruses and bacteria on different levels.
Surgical Face Masks
They cover the nose and mouth areas from entry fluids during medical proceedings. They are also referred to as medical face masks. There main purpose is to protect patients against possible airborne pathogens from the wearer as well as protecting the wearers from contaminated fluids.
As the name suggests, surgical face masks are regarded as medical devices and have to adhere to regulations governing medical devices. Medical face masks are classified as Type I and II in Europe and Level 1,2and 3 for the American market. It’s mandatory that all surgical face masks in Europe bear the CE mark as per the EN-14683:Medical face masks Requirements and test methods.
For effective functionality, the mask goes through a test to ascertain various requirements. The face mask is classified according to the outcome of the following tests:
- Splash resistant using synthetic blood.
- Bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE)
- Particulate Filtration Efficiency (PFE)
- Microbial cleanliness.
For class I face masks additional tests must be conducted as per the European Medical Device Regulation.
Respirator Face Mask
There main purpose is to protect the wearer against pathogens in the air. They are fashioned to filtrate airborne particles; therefore, preventing inhalation of infectious agents. For this mask to work successfully, the wearer should have no facial hair. The face mask must also fit perfectly to achieve perfect results.
Respirator face masks are regarded as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) products. They are categorized into three main Filtering Face Piece (FFP) classes. These classes arranged in ascending order are FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3. These classes are classified according to the ability of each to provide cover against outside fluids. The World Health Organisation advises on settling for a minimum of FFP2 for protection against COVID-19. The shape of these face masks places them under PPE products. All respirator face masks are required to bare the CE mark. To bear this mark, they are subjected to several tests before approval.
Respirator masks are also known as N95 due to their ability to prevent 95% of test particles.
Reusable Face Masks
Having learnt about the two main categories of standard masks, it’s notable that these face masks are commonly used by professionals. Although they can be accessed by the general public, not many people can afford to use them on a daily basis especially during the current state affairs in the world where face masks are part of our daily attire.
For this reason many people worldwide have opted for the cloth face masks due to their reusable and stylish nature. They are easy to manage and readily available since you can even make one yourself. Below are a few simple steps to follow to make a homemade cloth face mask:
- The materials required are an old clean t-shirt or any other fabric, a scissors and measuring device.
- Lay down the fabric on a flat area and cut across 8 inches from the bottom.
- Using the cut-out cloth, cut out 7 inches in from the sides and leave about half an inch at the top and base. These parts will act as the strings of the mask.
- Reduce the string to your suitable size.
- Tie a pair of the string around your neck and the other pair around the upper part of your head.
How to Care and Maintain your Reusable Face Mask
Due to the regular use of face masks these days, most people are curious on how to properly take care of their masks For your reusable face mask to work perfectly, it’s important to consider several maintenance factors
Washing of your Face Mask
Lather has been stated as one of the agents that play a big role in slowing down the Coronavirus. Cloth face masks are supposed to be frequently washed. This means they should be washed whenever they are used. It’s advisable to own more than one if you are frequently out of the house to enable rotation.
Washing your cloth mask should be a daily routine to curb the spread of pathogens. It’s advisable to thoroughly clean your hands with soap after washing a used mask.
After washing your mask dry on the sunlight or using a drier till it’s completely dry before wearing it again.
Clean face masks can be stored in a covered container and also a sealed plastic bag to prevent contamination. If you place your mask in the open it can transmit germs to other things or contact germs as well.