According to several media reports the upcoming Easter weekend is expected to potentially drive the third wave of Covid-19. To stay safe during this time it is important to have the best protection to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
While face masks are to be worn to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, it is important to note that not all face masks are created equal. When considering a face mask, buffers and similar solutions are not adequate protection against airborne viruses and pollutants, as these were not made to provide protection, however, there are face mask options available for children and adults alike that can provide increased protection against viruses, bacteria and pollutants.
Getting the best protection with a face mask
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  face masks that offer the best fit and filtration are key in blocking the transmission of airborne particles that are released when infected individuals cough, sneeze or even talk. Further, when conducting experimental simulations to assess the effectiveness of face masks, the CDC found that masks are most effective when they fit the face with no gaps to allow air in via the sides, when they have multiple layers to better ward off droplets and fit snuggly above the nose to prevent air escaping from the top of the mask.
Although face masks provide the first line of defence from airborne threats, they’ve been largely unregulated, under-designed and ineffective for the consumer market. This means that consumers have to know what to look for when selecting a face mask if they are to improve the level of protection they get from their masks.
What to consider when buying a face mask
To get the best protection from a face mask, it needs to meet certain criteria, in particular fit, filtration and breathability are top priorities in selecting a face mask.
For the most part, wearing a face mask needs to be snug but comfortable because if it is not, it won’t be worn. Further, an accurate, close fit is essential to prevent the inhalation of small droplets or aerosols, like those carrying the COVID-19 virus. In addition to comfort, the mask should not touch the mouth as this will keep the filter away from the face as well as increase airflow which leads to better comfort.
The purpose of wearing a mask is to filter pollutants, airborne viruses and more. However, if the mask doesn’t offer sufficient filtering it will not provide sufficient protection. As pollutants and viruses are generally smaller than 2.5 microns, these fine particulate matter are able to get through most fabrics. As such the mask needs to have three or more layers to create a barrier against these particles.
Lastly, breathability is key to selecting a face mask as you won’t wear one that isn’t comfortable and doesn’t work. As such getting the balance between breathability and filtration is important in a mask. One made of natural, breathable fabric will offer maximum breathability as well as be comfortable on the skin.
AirPop creates high-performance air wearable products with a new line of consumer face masks available for purchase from www.takealot.com and selected iStore and Dischem stores across South Africa.
AirPop is the world’s first Air Wearables company. Since 2015, the company has harnessed filtration science and technology to build high-performance products that deliver unrivaled comfort and breathability for millions of people worldwide. AirPop masks deliver superior performance by solving three critical issues: fit, filtration and breathability. The revolutionary mask design includes a patented seal ensuring a secure fit, while the 3D Air Dome increases airflow for better breathability and comfort. Furthermore, AirPop masks combine a 4-layer filter material to create a barrier down to 0.3 microns, and their filters deliver greater than 99% effectiveness. For more information visit: www.airpophealth.com