During this COVID-19 crisis, hand sanitizers, face masks, and disinfectants are a must in every home. As everyone was left unprepared when the pandemic struck the world, people were panic buying to try to get whatever protections they can have for their family against the virus. These days, people are no longer in the panic mode and it is best to know what exactly to look for in a face mask before you start shopping. This way, you don’t end up wasting your money on something that won’t give you the benefits you desire:
Difference between Medical Grade and Non-Medical Grade Face Masks
Medical grade masks cover the face from the chin to the nose. They put a barrier that reduces the spread of an infective agent between persons. These masks prevent big respiratory droplets from reaching the mouth and nose of another person. Medical-grade face masks, including medical face masks with designs, are compliant with certain requirements and regulations that vary by country. A non-medical grade mask is produced without abiding by any regulations or standards.
Specifications to Consider
When it comes to face masks, you must concentrate on the level of the mask. The higher the level the higher the quality.
- Level 1: These are used for general purpose medical procedures where those who wear them are not at risk of blood or bodily fluid splash.
- These are used when exposure to blood droplet is minimal such as for emergency departments, dentistry, and changing the dressing on healing or small wounds.
- Level 3. These are used when areas where a healthcare worker may be exposed to blood or bodily fluid splash such as all surgical procedure and major trauma first aid, including coronavirus procedures.
Assessing Physical Quality of the Mask
The following determines the physical quality of face masks:
- High-quality surgical masks have at least 3 Plys.
- The mask must cover from the tip of the nose to the chin. Also, it should be wide enough to cover the mouth. Surgical masks are designed to be adjustable. You can open up the mask by gently tugging its bottom and top.
- Whether you opt for an earloop face mask or one with tie-up strings, it must be tight enough to create a closed barrier between your skin and the mask, including the cheeks. Also, check that the connection between the loops or ties and the mask is welded on and not stapled.