We have entered 2021 but the COVID doesn’t seem to leave anytime soon. While scientists and medical researchers are working on developing safe & effective vaccines, wearing face masks in public continues to be the most effective way to contain the spread of the deadly infection.
Let us begin by understanding the difference cotton masks, surgical masks and N95 respirators. A cotton mask is a loose-fitting mask that creates a physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer and potential contaminants in the immediate environment. A surgical mask is a 3-ply mask meant to be used by medical personnel during procedures. N95 respirators, on the other hand, are personal protective equipment that protect the wearer from airborne particles and aerosols from entering the respiratory system.
Here are a few myths about face masks that you must know:
Myth #1: There is no difference between a Cotton Mask, Surgical Mask and an N95 Respirator
Cotton masks are soft and comfortable and tend to be the first choice of wearers. However, it is simply a physical barrier without any filtration capacity and does not offer protection against viruses, bacteria and other micro-organisms as the size of these organisms is much smaller than the cloth pores
Myth #2: The N95 Respirator and Surgical Mask can be washed, shared or reused
Masks should NEVER be shared. Surgical masks are not intended to be washed or used more than once. If your mask is damaged or soiled, or if breathing through the mask becomes difficult, you should discard it safely, and replace it with a new one. N95 respirators have a special filtration lining to remove up to 95% of all pathogens. Washing these masks destroys the lining, making them completely ineffective. So, these masks should not be washed either. They can be used for a cumulative 12 hours.
Myth #3: Masks with Valves are better
The valve is a ‘one-way valve’ for easy expiration and comfort of wearer. It doesn’t filter the expired air and hence useful in Industrial conditions only. An asymptomatic COVID carrier can easily spread the infection to others when the valve releases the unfiltered exhaled air. Thus, in a closed area, people around the carrier have a higher risk of potential exposure to the virus.
Myth #4: Covering your mouth and nose with a mask is enough
Just wearing a mask isn’t enough. It is equally important to ensure that your face mask fits perfectly and there are no gaps at the edges. N95 Masks with pliable nose clips and wide facial coverage usually provide the best fit. The edges of the respirator are designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth, and ensure efficient filtration of the airborne particles.
Myth #5: Wearing a face mask can deplete oxygen levels
Wearing a mask can be slightly uncomfortable. But it does not reduce oxygen levels or promotes CO2 retention, as generally believed. The filtering layer of theses masks allows a free flow of these gases, until the layer is clogged, post which, it should be discarded.
Wearing a mask along with social distancing and washing hands regularly is the most effective strategy in slowing the spread of COVID-19. This makes investing in the right mask and using it correctly a critical part in staying safe.
Check out KARAM’s range of K-Air face masks which offer finest quality, performance and comfort. All K-Air masks undergo stringent quality checks and are certified as per latest safety standards. They come with adjustable headbands and ear-loops for enhanced comfort even for prolonged wearing. Bring home your K-Air N95 respirators by shopping on Amazon or karamonline.com now.