Look after your health, not after the design!
There are several types of masks out there, and some are more available than the others. But does availability equal safety? Let’s find out.
One of the most available type of protective masks is those that you can easily make at home too, made of fabrics of old garments or more fancy fabrics.
These are the cloth masks.
Cloth masks are generally not considered to be safe, and in fact are not recommended to be relied on as protective equipment under any circumstances.
SOURCE: (1) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INFECTION CONTROL
Study from Oxford University
Oxford tested penetration levels for cloth masks at 2 different speeds. Along with “cloth masks” there were multiple fabrics tested including t-shirts, towels, sweatshirts, and scarves.
When they looked at bacteria sized particles, the penetration levels of cloth masks was about 75-90%, which seems quite high.
This means that you’re only protected from about
10-25% of (large) particles coming your way.
“The use of fabric materials may provide only minimal levels of respiratory protection to a wearer against virus-size submicron aerosol particles (e.g. droplet nuclei). A poor filtration performance is expected for improvised fabric materials because these materials are not designed for respiratory protection.”( 2 )
SOURCE (2): OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Non-medical face coverings won’t offer complete protection to you or to your child.
Children of any age SHOULD NOT wear a cloth mask. They cannot be responsible enough about them, they might touch it, take it off and put it back, touch their faces under the mask, and you would not know that they have not been careful about it until they end up being sick, or someone in your family starts showing symptoms of the virus.
If you cough, sneeze into it, or someone does the same around you, the fabric does not repel the droplets or germs, but keep it on the surface and absorb it into the material. This leads to contamination that cannot be reversed.
A cloth mask should be washed every time after usage, and you have to keep several ones with you to keep changing them once you take one off, as putting back the previously used one on your face is extremely risky. Even if changed and kept in a separate bag, the chances of contamination rises, as the bacteria and virus now have their own space to freely dwell in.
You have to wash a cloth mask on 60°C, and put it into a dryer right after washing, separate from any other clothes as bacteria and viruses can easily contaminate other fabrics in the same pile even after washing.
Do all these risk factors and complications still make the use of cloth masks sound safe to you?
A Clinical Trial of Cloth Masks
One randomized controlled clinical trial of cloth masks, published in BMJ Open in 2015, compared their effectiveness with that of medical masks worn by hospital healthcare workers. (3)
The study reported that healthcare workers
“should not use cloth masks as protection against respiratory infection. Cloth masks resulted in significantly higher rates of infection than medical masks, and also performed worse than the control arm.”( 3 )
SOURCE: (3) THE BMJ OPEN JOURNALS
What does the World Health Organisation say?
The World Health Organisation released a document about their advice upon using masks in community, healthcare and home care settings.
Cloth (e.g. cotton or gauze) masks are not recommended under any circumstance. ( 4 )
SOURCE: (4) THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION
Is there a safe alternative that is easily available?
When it comes to choosing the right protection, you should always go for the best and safest possible option available.
Instead of risking the dangers of the fabric mask, we would like to recommend our Medical Face Mask, which has a minimum 95% BFE bacteria filtration efficiency - a cloth mask in comparison is less than half as effective.
Each mask is packed individually, and can be taken out from a safe dispenser box. This means that you only get in contact with the one mask that you just taken out of the box. This is safe for children to use freely, as well as providing protection to you and to your whole family.
The medical mask is made out of synthetic material, that repels droplets and
fluids, and arrests the contamination as they fall on the surface.
To get familiar with our product,
we recommend looking at our Guide on How to Wear the Medical Face Mask
by following this link: https://www.rontec.lu/face-mask