Disposable surgical masks have become ubiquitous due to the Coronavirus pandemic. They are essential tools in limiting the spread of this pandemic and have become a part of our attire for a long run now. They are lighter than reusable cloth masks, and therefore, many people find it more convenient. These masks have the following features:
– Made to specific standards of filtration
– Have several layers of polypropylene
– They come in various shapes: flat, pleated, and moulded to face
– They have a construction based on a nose wire and elastic straps that go around the head or ears
– They are meant for single-use and should be disposed of after every time
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends these kinds of masks for those vulnerable to COVID or live in a high transmission zone. They could also be handy when a new, more infectious variant of the virus appears.
The disposable surgical masks are useful for filtering droplets projected towards you, whether from coughing or sneezing, which are common ways to spread infection. These masks’ outer layer is moisture-repellent. However, they might not be fully effective as the masks do not fit snugly to the face, and there may be gaps. On the contrary, they effectively stop the spread from you by limiting aerosol particles that come out when you sneeze, cough or talk. They are generally blue with pleats. They have a nose wire and elastic ear bands as part of their construction. They are single-use only and have three different levels of filtration:
– Type I – It filters more than 95% of the bacteria and can block the expulsion of large respiratory droplets.
– Type II – It filters bacteria more than 98% and can block the expulsion of large respiratory droplets.
– Type IIR – It filters bacteria more than 98% and can block the expulsion of large respiratory droplets, and is resistant to splash.
Here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing a disposable mask:
– Basic Filtration – Disposable surgical masks provide basic protection against the transmission of a virus because they can stop large particles and splashes. However, they cannot protect against smaller particles. Their main advantage is they stop you from transmitting the virus by halting the droplets in your exhalation. Hence, the protection provided here is very elementary, and for higher protection against smaller droplets and aerosols, medical professionals recommend FFP2 respirators. However, they are better than reusable cloth masks, as they must meet at least basic filtration standards.
– Environmental Effect – Since they are made of polypropylene and are meant for single-use, their disposal is of prime concern. They do not decompose as quickly as cloth masks and do not degrade in the environment. As a medical waste, it is not even easily recyclable.
– Recurring Cost – Since they are disposable and we should not reuse them, we need to keep buying them and restocking them. Hence, a user can incur high costs on masks. However, for surgical purposes, they may be the best option to work in.
Our present condition makes it absolutely essential to use face masks whenever you step out of the house. The number of COVID-19 cases are on the rise and the situation is as grave as it was last year. Therefore, we urge you to stay safe, stay home and keep tabs on your health by using medical equipment such as digital thermometer and oximeter. You can find these products online on medical distributors such as Smart Medical Buyer, who offer the best oximeter, face masks, gloves and digital thermometer prices in India.