Nowadays we all should be careful and responsible to fight against Coronavirus. It's recommended by the World Health Organisation to use Face Coverings to protect yourselves and help slow down the spread of COVID-19. Find out where to find and buy face masks online, what are the best masks and how to use them.

Table of Contents:

What is a medical face mask?

surgical mask, a medical mask or a face mask, is worn to prevent a person from catching the bacteria. They are usually non-woven fabric with good bacteria filtration and air permeability. 

Medical or surgical masks aim at reducing the chance of spreading airborne diseases such as Coronavirus. Many people wear face masks nowadays to avoid infecting others or being infected. 

The CDC recommends that members of the public use simple cloth face coverings when in a public setting to slow the spread of the virus, since this will help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. 

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions, such as hand washing and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing, to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases. -  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommend.

What is the Best Face Mask for COVID-19? 

Everybody knows that you must wear a protective face mask, gloves, wash your hands with disinfector and keep social distancing nowadays to prevent Coronavirus infection. But which masks will help better protect against this horrible disease?

There are several different types of face masks - from cotton dust masks to respirators with filters of three categories that meet the European standard for respiratory protection.

  • Respirators of protection class FFP1 (Filtering Face Piece) are usually used to protect against non-toxic dust in the agricultural, food, woodworking, construction industries when working in quarries and limestone barriers. They do not guarantee protection against viral infections.
  • Respirators of protection class FFP2 are able to hold 94 percent of harmful substances. They are used to protect against medium toxic solid asbestos, copper, barium, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese dust. Respirators are also suitable for work in places containing harmful carcinogenic dust, smoke and aerosols based on oil and water. They can also be used to protect against flu and other viral infections.
  • Respirators of protection class FFP3 are the most reliable, filtering out 99 percent of solid and liquid particles. They have the largest and multilayer filters and are indispensable, for example, when working with highly hazardous materials, in particular, when grinding and cutting glass, welding stainless steel and aluminum. These respirators are used in areas of highest risk and are able to protect against especially dangerous viruses and radiation.

Respirators such as FFP 2 (or N 95) are best suited. If you are healthy, then outwardly such a remedy will not let you through almost 99% of the pathogenic particles, if you get sick, then only 70% of the shares will remain inside, the rest will come out through the valves.

Medical face mask

The simplest protection of the skin of the face and respiratory organs from various small particles is masks made of non-woven materials that are attached to the back of the head, the so-called medical (preventive) masks that can be bought at any pharmacy.

The N95 medical mask, however, does have its drawbacks:

  • one-time use only;
  • uncomfortable to wear;
  • can make breathing difficult;
  • limited supply during the pandemic. 
Must know!
The medical mask provides effective protection for two hours, then it is changed. It is also often necessary to change a fabric mask, for example, sewn independently. This mask should be washed in hot water so that no virus remains on it. However, neither disposable medical nor fabric masks are particularly effective. After all, the virus enters the human body through the mouth, conjunctiva of the eyes, wounds and microcracks, but, first of all, through dirty hands. Therefore, ordinary medical masks and even safety glasses should serve, first of all, as a reminder that with dirty hands you should not touch your nose or eyes.

Cloth face mask

There are many types of cloth face masks:

1. A cloth mask with a proprietary water-resistant layer as well as a pocket for a filter insert.

  • It can be worn with or without an N95 or PM2.5 filter insert.
  • It's soft and comfortable against the skin.
  • It has adjustable ear bands.
  • It's reusable.

2. With filter inserted - Wearing this mask with a filter liner offers the most protection in a cloth mask. It is much more comfortable and more accessible than the previously discussed masks, and, although the filtration level is not as sophisticated as the N95, it should be as effective as the PM2.5 while also offering better side coverage when a filter is inserted. 

3. Without inserted - Wearing this mask without a filter obviously will not provide as much protection as masks with a filter. However, the inner poly layer will help the mask work more effectively than most standard cloth masks.

Full face respirator face mask

The respirator is able to protect against fine pollen, and bacteria, and from the penetration of viral infections into the respiratory system. It does not make breathing difficult; it is more comfortable in them. The respirator does not need to be changed, it is easy to handle.

Respirators fit more tightly to the face, eliminating the access of air to bypass the filter elements, provide bidirectional protection, filtering both the incoming and outgoing air. Respirators come with and without a valve: they carry up to two hours without a valve, and up to eight with a valve. A respirator with a valve provides an easier and faster air outlet. This makes it more comfortable to use, avoids the deposition of moisture inside.

Reusable face mask pros and cons

A reusable medical mask holds up to 90% of pollen microparticles and airborne mixtures. It is made of foamed polyurethane. Such masks serve for a long time and are much nicer than the cotton version. In addition, doctors note that they protect better than disposable accordion masks, as they fit more tightly to the face.

Reusable face masks are easy to clean and immediately ready for subsequent use. You can use them up to 2 months. They come in different colors, but in most cases are white or black.

Must know!
It is important to remember that reusable masks can only be reused after processing. At home, the mask must be washed with soap or detergent, then treated with a steam generator or iron with a steam supply function. After processing, the mask should not remain wet, so at the end it must be ironed with a hot iron, already without the function of supplying steam.

Where to buy cloth face masks online?

There are various online platforms or shops offering different kinds of face masks such as Amazon face mask, AliExpress, etc. Among the benefits of these Online Services are:

  • you don't have to risk and leave your home;
  • you can choose from the variety of offers;
  • it's available 24/7;
  • you can compare the prices, etc.

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Do face masks work?

As noted in the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ability to trap particles in such masks is not ideal, but the effectiveness of their use by both sick and healthy people is quite high.

In order to make sure a face mask protects you in a proper way follow all the rules of wearing them:

  1. Clean the hands before putting on your face mask.
  2. Put it on properly depending on what type of face mask you are wearing.
  3. Secure the mask using the ties or ear straps.
  4. After you've put it on wash your hands again.
  5. Don't touch the mask and your face.
  6. When you need to take off the mask wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  7. Remove the mask by ear tabs or straps without touching the inside of the mask.
  8. Dispose of the mask, or wash the mask in the washing machine at 140 degrees. 
  9. Wash your hands.

How often should you use a face mask?

Masks need to be changed every two hours. The use of masks repeatedly is strictly prohibited. Also transferring them to third parties is not a good idea, because it is not in vain that they are called personal protection tools.

Face mask sterilization

The mask should be cleaned and sterilized every day, whether it be a gauze mask or an air mask, which can be sterilized by heating. Specific practice is as follows:

  1. Сleaning. Gently wipe the gauze mask with warm water and soap. The bowl-shaped mask can be gently spread with a soft brush dipped in detergent and then rinsed with clean water. Please note that do not wipe, because if the gauze gap between latitude and longitude is too large, it will lose the role of anti-blocking drops.
  2. Вisinfection. Wash the masks in a 2% solution of peracetic acid for 30 minutes or boil in boiling water for 20 minutes or steam in a steamer for 15 minutes, then dry and dry. This method is suitable for gauze and bowl masks.
  3. Сheck. Before reuse, you should carefully check the mask and the mask is still intact, gauze masks and the mask can take an easy method of control, that is, take the light before taking care, see if there is an obvious point of light, the middle part and the extreme part of the speed of light incompatible if the question arises of changing a new one.

If you haven't bought a face mask consider a DIY face mask

The spread of coronavirus triggered an increase in demand for medical masks. In this regard, there is an acute shortage of protective equipment not only in pharmacies but also on the manufacturers' official websites. The situation is aggravated by the fact that it is necessary to change the mask every two hours and it is strictly forbidden to use them again. Therefore, in order to protect yourself and others, a protective measure can be made with your own hands.

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