Reusable Face Masks: Are They Safe?

reusable face masks

With the crisis of the coronavirus still haunting us, many are now finding ways on saving money just for their personal protection. Face masks, as recommended by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), should be worn outside at all times. Though many manufacturers produce cheap alternatives, some of the premium ones backed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cost a lot. This brings us to one solution: reusable face masks. But are they as safe as the good ones?

 

Face Masks against COVID

Can face masks help reduce the incidence of COVID-19? This coronavirus strain (SARS-CoV-2) affected the entire world for more than a year now. Well, we have a simple answer: Yes. Face masks, when used in conjunction with other preventative methods such as vaccination, frequent handwashing, and physical separation, can help reduce the virus’s prevalence.

As we mentioned earlier, the CDC has recommended every nation implement an order to mandate the use of face masks in public places with social distancing. Those who have not yet received their COVID vaccines should practice wearing their face masks even indoors, as long as they are exposed to the public. Malls, churches, schools, offices require everyone to don a face mask inside and outside their premises.

 

Reusable Face Masks

cloth masksNow, because the high demand for face masks increased with a blink of an eye, the supply ran out. This brought about the rise of cloth masks, hand-woven layers of fabric that give you the same protection that you can get from disposable face masks. For added benefits, it also addressed the common complaints many have on disposable masks.

Adjustable ear loops

With surgical masks, people begin to complain that the backs of their ears hurt due to the standard size of the ear loops. Now, reusable masks like a cloth mask, you can adjust the tightness of it for comfort fit from the adjustable straps.

Economical and affordable

A reusable face mask is machine washable. You wouldn’t need to buy a mask per day. It can definitely give you huge savings.

Breathable yet protective

Surgical masks use latex-free, non-woven material, making them effective in blocking the virus. However, many complain that they find it difficult to breathe using them on a daily basis. They also cause sweating and skin irritation. Because cloth masks use different layers of fabric to filter the minute particles in the air and shield your mouth and nose from droplets, they can still manage to protect you without the fuss.

Use Moisture-wicking cloth

Other masks sellers use moisture-wicking fabric layers. This means that two or three layers help absorb the sweat and moisture without making you feel damp and uncomfortable. This innovation uses double-layered fabric (sometimes even three layers) that acts fast in moving perspiration to the outer layer of the cloth, and the other is quickly drying out so that your sweat does not soak through.

 

Cloth Mask: Are they still Safe to Use?

disposable face masksMany individuals still wear cotton cloth masks, which can now be purchased in a variety of stores. However, as the global availability of medical-grade face masks has grown, some people have argued that they should start using a more protective mask, such as a surgical mask.

Many people say that because we now have the right supply of surgical and disposable masks in the market, we can now retire our everyday use, machine wash, face mask. Many countries actually prohibited wearing a reusable mask in public, now that there are exclusive offers available for more masks.

France, Austria, and Germany banned the selling, using, and manufacturing of cloth face masks. They help people follow this rule by providing them with an appropriate amount of surgical face mask that they can wear on everyday use.

 

Wear Masks Is a Must!

Whether you wear a disposable surgical face mask or cloth face mask, what remains as an important reminder is for us to wear masks in public. Early access to a reusable or disposable face mask can help ensure your protection, not just on the coronavirus, but any airborne or droplet-spread viruses and bacteria.

 

References:

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/15/are-cloth-masks-effective-for-covid-surgical-masks-vs-kn95-explained.html

https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n432

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449

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