Reusable masks are very practical since they can be used for several purposes, but do you know how to choose the safest?
Since the obligation to use the masks have become indispensable in our lives. We have gone from a few days in which obtaining them was an impossible mission to a market now where a wide variety of them have come out, with such a number of options that sometimes we even get confused and not know which one suits us.
The Ministry of Health indicates that the use of masks is mandatory as long as we cannot maintain a distance of at least two meters, when we are on public transport, or in spaces, whether they are open or closed for public use, if we cannot keep a distance of at least two meters from other people.
What mask to use in each situation
The Ministry of Health tells us that:
- Healthy people. Preferably they will use hygienic masks.
- Sick people. Symptomatic or positive asymptomatic people should choose surgical masks as a priority.
- People in contact with the virus. People who are in contact with symptoms or positive for COVID-19 will preferably wear EPI masks.
So if you are a healthy person (or presumably healthy), you need a hygienic mask, which is the simplest of the three.
But this does not mean any mask.
Data to ensure that protection is adequate
The standard that regulates the production of reusable hygienic masks is UNE 0065-2020.
Minimum conditions exist in it; In addition to covering the nose and chin, the hygienic reusable mask must be made with a suitable approved filter material that allows breathing, is washable and also does not have any known adverse effects.
Regarding the minimum conditions for the material (so as to guarantee that it fulfills its function):
- The tissue must have a bacterial filtration capacity (BFE), greater than or equal to 90%.
- The breathability of the fabric must be less than 60 Pa / CM2.
We find a list of fabrics previously tested for use in hygienic masks. They will be homologated fabrics and with a guaranteed number of washes for that fabric. TNT textiles (non-woven fabrics) made of polyester are widely used.
An important condition is that this filter material must be able to maintain these conditions for at least 5 washes. If not, you can’t talk about a reusable mask.
The maximum number of washes does not mean that when this maximum number of recommended washes is exceeded, the protection drops to zero.
This means that the recommended protection can no longer be guaranteed, because it will have decreased since the material after washing loses consistency and density, also losing filtration capacity. But it will always be better than not wearing a mask.
We want to remember that hygienic masks are a complement to reinforce the effectiveness of distancing and hygiene measures, to further reduce the risk of contagion, in no way do they replace them. We must not fall into the false sense of security that masks can give us and we must continue to maintain the necessary precautions.
Should they have filters?
Hygienic masks, made with fabrics approved according to the UNE 0065 standard, do not need to carry any filter because that fabric already has the necessary filtering properties.
Tips for using reusable masks?
- We must not use the mask for more than 4 hours in a row and we must wash it after each use. If it gets wet we must replace it. For a clean one.
- Clean hands before and immediately after putting it on.
- We should not touch more than the rubbers of the reusable mask when placing it. And avoid touching it during use.
- When removing the mask, it should be treated as a COVID-19 contaminated material.
- Each manufacturer provides specific washing instructions for each fabric, the general recommendation is to wash at 60ºC with detergent.
- After washing, you must wait until the mask is completely dry before using it again.
- We should not put it in the microwave, it has not been shown to serve to sanitize your reusable mask, nor to turn it over and turn it inside out.
When you decide to use a face-mask for your security, I suggest munnbind from HviteTenner.net which carry all the qualities prescribed for safety. The great advantage of using reusable hygienic masks is that in addition to helping us protect ourselves, at the same time, we reduce the environmental impact of the coronavirus that is being created with the use of disposable masks, gloves … that we find in our path every day and that will go to stop at the sea.