Does it matter what mask you wear?
Yes. Different types of masks offer different levels of protection. Surgical class N95 respirators offer the highest level of protection against Covid-19 infection, followed by surgical masks. However, these masks are expensive, with limited supply, contribute to landfill waste and are uncomfortable to wear for long periods. So even countries that require the public to wear face masks usually offer such masks to be reserved for healthcare professionals or people at particularly high risk.
Evidence for the protective value of disposable paper masks or reusable coatings is less clear, but still suggests that face masks may contribute to reducing Covid-19 transmission. The Royal Society’s analysis said it included homemade fabric face masks.
Are disposable paper surgical masks better or is a cloth mask good?
Evidence of any use of a mask, other than surgical masks, is still emerging: there seems to be some benefit, but the exact parameters of which masks are best and the extent to which they protect the wearer or those around them are still being studied. . outside. A tighter fit around the face is probably better, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that any coverage, including a bandana, is better than none.
An American study examines which household materials best remove particles with a diameter of 0.3-1.0 microns, the typical size of viruses and bacteria, and concludes that good options include vacuum cleaner bags, heavy cotton, or multiple layers of material. Scarves and bandana material were less effective, but still captured particles from the particles.
How to take them in and off safely?
Before putting on a mask, clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Cover your mouth and nose with your mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Avoid touching the mask while using it, and if you do, wash your hands. Change the mask when it is wet. To remove your mask, remove it using the elastic labels without touching the front and discard immediately in a closed bin or, if the mask is reusable, directly in the washing machine.
How often should you wash masks?
They should be washed after each use. CDC offers “routine”.
Is there environmental protection?
Many commercially available masks are made of layers of plastic and are designed for single use. According to an analysis by researchers at University College London, if every person in the UK uses a disposable mask every day for a year, an additional 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste will be generated. The use of reusable masks by the population would significantly reduce plastic waste and the impact of climate change on any policy requirements for wearing face masks, according to the UCL team led by Prof. Mark Miodovnik. They say that, according to the best evidence, reusable masks perform most of the tasks of disposable masks without the associated waste stream.
• This article was amended on May 12, 2020 to clarify that N95 masks alone do not guarantee protection against Covid-19 infection.
• This article was further amended on 5 June 2020 to take on new guidelines issued by the World Health Organization.
• This article was further amended on June 17, 2020 and July 6, 2020 to correct the name of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.
• Due to the unprecedented and continuing nature of the coronavirus epidemic, this article is regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the best possible situation. Any significant adjustments made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnotes in accordance with the Guardian’s editorial policy.