Which face mask do I need to protect me and my family?
Masks are categorised into three broad types: Cloth, Surgical and Respirator masks.
can be made of multiple layers of fabrics that filter
Cloth masks are face coverings made from any cloth and are used to cover the nose and mouth. These offer the lowest form of protection but can lower the risk of spreading the disease if you sneeze or cough. They are helpful if you are infected, and don’t want to pass the virus on to others, and also for use outside.
They may also potentially reduce the risk of contracting the disease. Cloth masks are cheap, comfortable, and easy to wear, and better than not using anything at all. However, they offer little protection in crowded and enclosed spaces.
Surgical masks are the next level up - cheaper than respiratory masks, and usually less bulky than cloth masks. Normally in green or blue, they have three layers and are disposable. They come with elastic bands and ties.
Infected air may still enter (or escape) from around the edges of the mask. They are of some use indoors and while social distancing.
The outer layer of the mask repels air-borne fluids; the middle layer filters some types of pathogens; while the inner layer absorbs sweat and moisture from the air you exhale.
These are often used by health care professionals to help prevent them from infecting their patients and are used once and then disposed of.
A respirator mask fully covers the lower half of your face – the nose, cheeks, and mouth, while allowing ventilation for easy breathing. They have two elastic straps that fit behind the ears, and a metallic nose clip which is adjustable for a better fit.
Usually, respirator masks are worn in factories, construction sites, and other workplaces in order to protect against inhaling harmful particles. This includes biological agents such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. Now, facemasks are becoming an essential tool for individuals to protect against the coronavirus.