In order to help prevent the spread of infection diseases throughout communities across Australia, individuals are being urged – and, in some states, legally required – to wear face masks. Face masks are worn over the nose and mouth and are designed to offer you a range of respiration protection factors from helping you to prevent spreading infectious germs to actually stopping you from inhaling at least 95% of airborne particulates. There are a range of face masks available including surgical face masks often worn by healthcare workers, the US standard N95 masks and the Chinese standards equivalent, KN95 face mask which is also TGA approved.
The main difference between a standard medical mask and the KN95 Mask is in the actual design of the mask. Originally created for industries like the mining and construction sectors, and for use against inhaling dust and smoke pollution, the KN95 Mask is made using a special and complex process known as melt blowing. This production process creates a filtration layer within the mask that is capable of filtering out at least 95% of airborne particles. These particles can include dust and smoke pollution or the infectious germs responsible for carrying virus like the coronavirus. This filter is responsible for tightly controlling what can be breathed through the mask and will only work effectively as an antiviral face mask when it is positioned correctly on the face, disposed of thoroughly and only worn for as long as the manufacturer’s instructions advise. Other surgical face masks are capable of trapping the water droplets expelled by the wearer and thus keep them from spreading those droplets further, but they do not offer any active filtration of what the wearer is actually breathing.
How to use face mask correctly?
When choosing any form of respiratory protective wear, it is important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for wear and use as closely as possible. Whichever cloth face coverings you choose to purchase will come with instructions for wear and a time limit for wearing your air filter mask or your medical mask.
To remain effective, you must ensure that when you wear a mask that it is completely covering your nose and mouth. This is to prevent you from inhaling germs associated with respiratory illness as well as helping to prevent the spread of those germs. The mask will come with ear loops or adjustable straps designed to ensure that you fit your mask to your face as closely as possible.
Some individuals infected with disease are completely asymptomatic which means that they do not even know they have been affected. By adhering to rules in densely populated cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, like social distancing guidelines and, where applicable, wearing a face mask, you are protecting yourself against inadvertently spreading illnesses that they may not even know you are carrying. You are also ensuring that you are protected against infection yourself.
If you have chosen a disposable face mask, then in order to wear your mask correctly you must ensure that it completely covers your nose and your mouth and that is thrown away thoroughly after use. You should not attempt to wash and reuse a disposable mask. The materials they are constructed from are not designed to be washed and reused and you risk wearing an ineffective face covering should you attempt to wash and wear your disposable face mask again.
If you have chosen a face mask with an interior filtration layer, then that mask must fit snuggly to your face in order for it to remain effective. The filtering agent within the mask is only effective when your total respiration occurs through that filter. Removing the mask for short periods of time while still in a public setting will affect how effective the mask remains. Similarly, if you have facial hair then you may not be able to achieve the tight fit required and may find that other types of protective wear work more effectively for you as a mouth mask.
When removing your face mask, ensure that you place directly into your garbage bin and that no used face masks are left lying around. You should also wash your hands with warm water and soap for a minimum of 30 seconds after you have removed your mask. If you do not have access to warm water and soap, then a suitable alternative may be hand sanitiser. We offer our customers access to bulk quantities of both protective face masks and sanitisers online. You can also buy online a range of gloves.
Gloves, such as those worn by health care workers, can help you reduce the contact you have with potentially infected surfaces while in a public setting. Similar to a face mask, you should only wear your disposable gloves once and when you are ready to throw them away they should be discarded in a rubbish bin and not left lying around your home.
How long can you wear a face mask?
A mask protects the wearer usually for about 8 hours, however, you should always read the manufacturer’s instructions before committing to wearing your mask for any length of time in potentially unsafe areas. With air filter masks, if the interior of the mask becomes moist then that is a sign that the mask should be changed as soon as possible. This may occur before the 8 hours are up so ensure you remain vigilant of how the interior of the mask feels.
Some individuals have also reported that wearing their face mask is highly uncomfortable. This is entirely normal and to help you adjust to how the mask looks and feels while you have it on, try wearing it for short periods of time around your home where you can safely remove it when it feels like you should. If you experience difficulty breathing, then ensure you remove your mask immediately and search for an alternative type of covering. With air filtration masks, wearers will often report that they require more energy initially when drawing a breath through the mask. This is because you are breathing through a filtration layer and the sensation is likely very foreign if you have never used a mask like that before. In order to help you adjust to how it feels to breathe through your filter, wear your mask for short periods of time at first in safe spaces that you can remove it, as mentioned before.
Wearing a face mask and adhering to social distancing guidelines while limiting your time spent in public spaces all helps to curb the spread of infection diseases right across Australia. We have all been asked to step up our personal hygiene regimens as well which includes washing our hands with warm water and soap as often as possible and using sanitising agents when we can. Sanitisers are deliberately placed at the entrances and exits of public spaces like shops and offices to ensure that individuals use these antibacterial gels and sprays. You can also ensure that you always have a sanitiser on you by purchasing small travel pack sizes which fit easily into your car, your handbag, backpack and your pocket. In order for a sanitising gel or spray to be highly effective at killing germs, the alcohol content should be at least 60%. The label should clearly advertise what the ethanol level is.
Buy face masks online now in bulk quantities available for delivery direct to your door anywhere in Australia.