Facemasks for Coronavirus Outbreak: A Frontline Safety Guide
With the recent outbreak of Coronavirus and level of confusion around purchasing suitable Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) or Face Masks. Information around what types of protection are recommended has become increasingly important.
The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy in the United States has released information stating the World Health Organisation (WHO) have warned of a shortage in the supply of PPE. This is due to a rise in demand, confusion with purchasing and inappropriate usage of equipment.
Our guide will help make you aware of the most appropriate minimum level of protection for this particular application.
What Face Mask Should I Wear When Faced with Coronavirus?
There are certain factors you must take in to consideration when looking to purchase a disposable face mask, such as the application it’s being used in and the type of contaminant being faced. Recent developments suggest Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread via human-to-human contact, and respiratory droplets. Highlighting the need for protection when exposed to the virus.
As Coronavirus is a new illness it’s not clear what exact type of Face Mask and Filter will protect against spreading the virus. But there are recommendations on what type of protection may be best suited. WHO advise the use of an FFP2 or equivalent as the minimum amount of protection when protecting against Coronavirus.
We’ve created a guide advising which disposable face masks are available via our website, based on recommendations by the manufacturer to provide the minimum level of protection required. Due to demand, we have limited the number of masks on this guide to those we have available in stock. For additional advice on efficient protection, contact our helpful sales team on 0141 771 7749.
Another FFP3 filter type face mask from Drager’s X-plore range, the Drager X-plore 1730 helps protect against class 3 fine particles. It offers a high level of protection for the filtration of dust and particles. Much like the X-plore 1330 it utilises a VarioFLEX harness and CoolSAFE filter material. The Drager X-plore 1700 range use a CoolMAX exhalation valve which releases humid and warm air. Allowing the user to remain cool while wearing this mask.
Bearing in mind, a mask will only offer a degree of protection against the Coronavirus.
There are many other steps to take for preventive protection against Coronavirus. If masks are used for protection they must be combined with other essential measures such as increased/excellent hand hygiene. Additionally, masks must be used correctly to ensure their effectiveness in reducing the risk of transmission.
So far there is no evidence to suggest face masks offer protection against Coronavirus. However, if you are going to use this method of protection, ensure best practices are followed.
How to effectively use your face mask
- Minimise gaps between your face and mask
- Don’t re-use disposable masks
- Dispose of immediately after use
- Remove the mask from behind avoiding touching the front
- Clean your hands once the mask has been removed
Also keeping in mind, as stated by Avon Protection, the filter will not kill the virus, just trap it, reinforcing the importance in disposing of these masks.
- concentration of the contaminants
- combination of the contaminants
- air humidity
- duration of use
- breathing rate of the user
Due to the service life being influenced by so many different factors it is not possible to give an estimated service life
The end of service life is generally recognizable by:
- a noticeable taste or smell of the contaminant
- in particle filters by an increased breathing resistance
- in combination filters a noticeable taste or smell and/or an increased breathing resistance