Best Reusable Medical Face Masks 2022
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the demand for medical masks has skyrocketed. Disposables quickly disappeared from pharmacies. All new stocks are bought by government agencies to give out to doctors and employees who work with people. Therefore, people began to look for reusable medical face masks.
We has studied which reusable medical face masks are on the market. Important: read our material to the end. We spoke with a doctor who shared an important opinion.
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5. Protective shield
Initially, this product was used in the field of repair and industry. Made of plastic, put on the head and designed to protect the face from small particles. However, in 2022 stores began to buy such means of protection. For example, in Moscow, these could be found in expensive boutiques.
The measure can be called effective, but with an important caveat. With one of the functions of a medical face mask — to protect a person from drops of saliva of an infected person — the shield will cope. If we talk about coronavirus, then the more infected particles enter a healthy body, the higher the risk of getting sick. That’s why it’s important to protect your face. However, if microdroplets get on the mucous membranes, then the risk of getting sick with an infection is less. The immune system of a healthy person will be stronger.
But as you can see from the design of the shield, it is quite open. Therefore, the infection can easily get under it. It has been proven that suspended particles with infection in the air allow the virus to stay in space for several hours.
4. Cotton mask
The most accessible material. You can sew a reusable face mask out of it even at home. It is easy to wash and iron for disinfection purposes. Rospotrebnadzor recalls that after processing, the mask must remain dry: the steam supply on the iron must be turned off. After all, bacteria live in a humid environment.
A clear minus is the thickness and the issue of hygiene. First, one layer will not be enough. So some put something inside. For example, women’s pads. Secondly, from breathing, such a reusable mask quickly gets wet and becomes a favorable environment for bacteria.
3. Neoprene mask
Synthetic material, which is actively used in several areas at once. For example, diving suits and some medical clothing are made from it. And from it got into the habit of making protective face masks. Needless to say, the product is in great demand in 2022 year?
The peculiarity of neoprene is that it is able to stop moisture. We said above that it is in the particles of the saliva of the infected that pathogenic bacteria are contained. Therefore, this part of the material can be put a plus.
However, there is the question of comfort. Neoprene also blocks heat from escaping. Because of what the face can sing, and if from the outside you are protected, then inside, on the contrary, it is an undesirable moist environment.
2. Half mask FFP2
Let’s deal with the notation. Firstly, in the strict sense of the word, what we call a “mask” does not completely hide the face. Therefore, in professional terminology, this is called a half mask. Now let’s move on to numbers.
The English abbreviation FFP means Filtering Face Piece — “filtering half mask”. Number 2 — protection class. This marking is used in Russia and the European Union.
Class FFP2 means that the mask is capable of retaining up to 94% of harmful impurities in the atmosphere. Or in other words, the excess of 4 times the maximum permissible concentration of harmful substances.
However, all this makes sense in the industry, where they deal with hazardous production. The indicator does not mean at all that 94% of viruses are filtered. However, these reusable face masks tend to be well made.
1. Half masks FFP2, FFP3
These half masks guarantee an even higher degree of protection — up to 94% and 99% of harmful substances. In addition, respirators may have the abbreviation R, which means that they have reusable filters. However, all this applies to industrial applications. It is difficult to say how effective these reusable face masks are for medical purposes. There are no such studies.
However, we note that such products quite hermetically cover the face. In addition, they are made anatomically shaped for a snug and comfortable fit. In addition, a respirator window is specially made on them — so that natural condensate does not accumulate and, in principle, one can breathe relatively comfortably.
How to choose a protective face mask
“Reusable medical face masks do not exist,” says the head of the department, head of the emergency and emergency department, general practitioner Alexander Dolenko. — Medical masks are a one-time story. After a certain time of use, the protective properties are reduced in the filter layer, particles of saliva or sputum accumulate, which may contain bacteria and viruses. Therefore, washing and ironing the mask is not recommended, since even after washing and ironing the mask well, we cannot be sure that all microorganisms will be removed from the filter layer. Protective face masks need to be changed after a certain time, it’s safer.
With masks in short supply, the World Health Organization has been repeatedly asked if masks can be washed. However, WHO constantly evades the answer, or rather, does not give such a recommendation. Doctor Alexander Dolenko says:
— WHO cannot recommend the reuse of medical masks precisely because of the increased risk of infection if handled incorrectly and prepared for reuse.
Now for the manufacture of medical masks, synthetic fabric bases are used. Thanks to a special production method — spunbond, a higher concentration of fabric elements in the layers is achieved.
- Due to this — a higher degree of filtration per unit thickness of the mask. This helps make the mask less thin and encourages people to opt for synthetic bases over cottons,” explains Dolenko.