4 tips for choosing the right non-medical face mask

We want to make sure that you know everything you need to know about masks, so you can safely walk into your favorite public settings where social distancing isn’t possible. There are several things you should look for when selecting a non-medical face mask. Here’s a quick breakdown:
  1. Type of fabric and mask construction: Masks should be made of 2+ layers of tightly woven cotton, polyester, propylene, chiffon, or silk. These materials have the highest filter quality factor.
  2. Breathability: Breathability for non-medical masks should be under 100 Pa (Pascals). They have to fit comfortably against your face allowing you to breathe easily so you don’t need to adjust it.
  3. Fluid resistance and bacterial filtration: They must be approved by FDA. The FDA approval, signifies they have been tested for their ability to resist splashes and sprays of blood and other bodily fluids, as well as bacteria and particulate.
  4. Ensure a good fit with ear loops or ties: A mask should fully cover your nose and mouth, extending an inch or more past the ends of your mouth and wrapping under to grab onto the bottom of your chin, so that the edges of your mask don’t let external air in.
To offer protection, facemasks need to be worn correctly and consistently throughout the time that they are being used. When used properly, facemasks play an important role in preventing exposures to different types of hazards. Wearing a non-medical face mask should not be a replacement for following proven measures such as handwashing and physical distancing.
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