With the view of the ongoing pandemic of Covid-19, there has been increased use of disposable face masks, reusable face masks hand sanitizers, handwashes, gloves & face covers. Everything being used is justified in taking precautionary measures & to prevent the spread of the evil virus. We can see the number of deaths is increasing after 24 hours being passed, & this short period leads us to witness hundreds of deaths worldwide.
Precautionary guidelines, handwashing guidelines & social distancing, all these practices are the main ways of preventing the spread of the deadly virus. Among these steps, one most important way of avoiding infection is to cover nose & face, which is why people have increased the use of face masks of different types, for example, disposable masks, surgical masks, professional respirators include N-95 & N-90, cloth or paper mask.
Now there is a debate among people as to which face mask one should wear more often or which mask is better in general: Disposable Face Masks or Reusable Face Masks.
Some people of an opinion that one should wear disposable face masks and dispose it at the end of the day and put a new one next day from hygiene and extra precautionary point of view. But some people believe the re-usable face masks are of more protective and money-savers too as you re-use them over and over again.
So let’s see the pros and cons of both types of mace masks so that you can decide it for yourself.
What are Disposable Face Masks?
This mask as any other surgical face masks helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It covers nose & mouth properly which avoids any droplets present in surrounding to enter your body or sometimes the person being a carrier of virus not showing any symptom will prevent the spread of infection by stopping small droplets to contaminate the environment. People going out, doing their jobs, or any activity that will cause two or more people to gather its recommended to wear such a mask. These are single time use masks for a single day by only one person. These are more suitable for individuals doing the job, who must go out daily.
Disposable face masks are very important part in hospital set up or any any clinic. It contributes one of component to surgical attire for doctors during any surgical procedure or during examining to patients infected with bacterial or virus infection. As we know oral and nasal cavity are parts more prone to infection. Effective masks serve as shield or protectant to host. Disposable masks are made of synthetic material of different layering which are meant to be dispose off after single by doctor in operation theatre or after whole day use from healthy public.
Disposable face masks should also be worn when an individual come into contact with sterile field or area as in industrial manufacturing sites or where products are manufactured maintaining the sterile or microbe-free environment. This will protect the environment when we exhale and reduce the chances of contamination.
Disposable Face Masks Pros & Cons
|It is easily available in stores.||It is loose fitted cannot give secure and comfortable fit around the face and nose.|
|It is relatively inexpensive.||It cannot filter the small airborne particles.|
|It is fluid resistant and can filter large droplets.||People with easily transmissible diseases should not wear this because it is not as protective as people consider it.|
|Health workers, patients and other people can easily wear it as it helps to keep the people save from getting infected from each other.||As it is loose fitted so leakage of particle through the hole can expel out and spread in the surrounding.|
|N95 AND N90:|
|It is also easily available in stores.||It is little expensive.|
|It is more protective as it can filter the smallest airborne particles.||It can cause the breathing problem for the severely ill patients.|
|It is little tightly fitted and test is required for the buyers before buying it.||It leave scars on the face so it causes aesthetic problems.|
|There is no problem of leakage as is the tightly fitted.|
What are Reusable Face Masks?
Reusable face masks are made of a fabric of different materials. They may have different combinations of fabrics, layering sequences & available in diverse shapes. Reusable face masks are developed conforming to minimum requirements of the Centre for Disease Prevention & Control (CDC) in terms of filtration, breathability, inhalation, or exhalation resistance. Based on requirements, these masks are recommended to consider for source control (used by infected persons) in community settings and not for prevention. They can be used ad-hoc for specific activities e.g. on public transport when physical distance can not be maintained & their use should always be accompanied by frequent hand hygiene & physical distancing.
Reusable Face Masks Pros & Cons
|It can be washed and can be used over and over again.||After the repeated use breathing becomes uncomfortable|
|It contain the replaceable filters that can be replaced when get polluted.||After every use it becomes vulnerable of getting polluted easily.|
|When masks gets black or grey then one can see that how they get protected from the polluted air.||Filters do not cover the whole the mask only the part of nose and face.|
After discussing above regarding both types of masks, both masks are considered a better option for the public. However, People going out daily to work organization or any other purpose disposable masks are recommended to use for the whole day then properly discarding at the end of the day according to guidelines described below. Disposable masks are more feasible & appropriate for workers. While considering reusable masks, should be used when going out for household works, going to shops for groceries as such masks are easy to wash in-home and reused again after washing it properly with water & cloth washing detergents.
How to dispose your face mask
For any type of mask, appropriate use & disposal are essential to avoid transmission from waste & discarded material.
WHO offers the following guidelines on the correct disposal of used masks:
- Perform hand hygiene after disposing of by thorough hand washing or hand sanitization.
- Avoid touching masks from the center, pick it from edges.
- Do not touch the mask from the front, untie it from behind the ear.
- Replace mask with the new one as worn mask get moistened or damped.
- Do not reuse a single mask.
- Discard disposable masks after each use & dispose of them upon removal immediately.
Mask should be used according to different situations & conditions. These are being made according to the different requirements specified by CDC guidelines. Here, we would like to recommend the public regarding the proper use of masks & which type of mask should be used when to go out.
To avoid catching an air-borne infection, it’s very important to know how to use the face masks (whether it is disposable or reusable face masks) properly. Face masks should cover the face completely from the bridge of the nose to under your chin. It should be loose-fitting but still secure enough to stay in place. Make sure that you can comfortably talk & breathe & it doesn’t irritate you, so you would not touch or pull it out again & again which could put an individual at risk of getting an infection or limit its effectiveness.
Which type of face masks do you prefer wearing and why? Please share with us your experience and thoughts – we would love to hear from every reader. Thanks and stay stay!
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Centre for Disease Prevention & Control (CDC)