Face Masks: Why filter and fit matters

For the past two years, face masks have played an integral role in our lives. It is not a stretch to say they were a vital asset in the fight against the Covid-19 Virus.  Sadly to say, while  almost everyone uses a facemask in they day to day commutes, not many are aware that it is not just wearing a mask but how well the mask fits you that is important.

Certain face mask combinations and fit modifications, according to a research team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offer greater protection from diseases spread through respiratory droplets, such as COVID-19.

Face masks have continued to serve a significant role in preventing the transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the epidemic. Mask regulations will likely still be in place  in many towns, counties, states, and nations, requiring face masks in particular places or situations for the extended future.

So how exactly should we be wearing masks?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are several requirements that must be met for maximum safety and protection against the Covid-19 Virus.

Firstly, the face mask must completely cover the nose and mouth of the user in order to fully guard you from the virus.

Secondly, the mask should have 2 or more layers of washable fabric through which the user can breathe.

Thirdly, the face mask must fit snugly along the sides of the face with no gaps.

Lastly, a nose wire mask keeps the mask sealed at the top.

What are the things to take note of when choosing a mask?

Researchers feel it is critical for healthcare personnel and the general public to examine the filtering capabilities of the materials used in the construction of a face mask, as well as the mask’s fit, when determining what sorts of face masks to employ. In addition, Francoise Blachere of the research team stated that the future production of masks will hopefully entail a closer scrutiny when it comes to fit and filter.

What does the research say?

Blachere and her colleagues discovered that double masking using a three-ply cotton mask or a surgical mask gave the best protection against respiratory aerosols throughout their investigation. Exhaled aerosols were prevented by 42 percent of medical masks, while cough aerosols were blocked by 56 percent of medical masks.

The research was carried out by using a range of masks of both cloth and medical variety, as well as the usage of both human subjects and human simulators like manakins to test the efficiency of the masks in preventing the penetration of sneezes, coughs and water droplets.

So in the future before leaving the house, consider wearing two masks instead of one to keep both you and your loved ones safe against the Covid-19 virus.

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