Current Mask Regulations And The Quality And Suitability Of Today’s Mask Solutions
The COVID-19 crisis is still affecting many countries across the world with infection rates growing every day. Both the CDC and the World Health Organisation have stated that wearing a properly designed face mask or PPE is important and that it can help reduce the spread of the virus. There have even been regulations released about the design and usability of face masks, and certifications provided for PPE showing that it is safe for use and that it will provide a certain level of protection when used properly by the wearer.
Notice the sentence, ‘when used properly by the wearer’. Regardless of how well a mask is designed, or to what level the PPE is effective, if a mask is not worn properly by the user, it can be completely ineffective. Likewise, if face masks are made of low-quality materials, or they just aren’t suitable for a particular wearer, they are less likely to provide the protection necessary.
Quality And Suitability Are Important
No matter which agency provides the certification for face masks or PPE, that certification doesn’t specifically offer any information or requirements for the quality standards of the face mask or PPE in the context of the pandemic. Receiving certification shows that the face mask or PPE has been manufactured in accordance with existing product standards. There is nothing stating COVID-19 suitability at all.
Surgical Masks Are Not The Same As Textile Masks And Transparent Masks
The surgical masks used in today’s medical facilities have been around for decades and there are certain standards which they are tested against. Many of the textile masks and transparent masks on the market today have not been certified. Is this because they are not as good as a surgical mask? No, in fact, the reason many of today’s textile masks and transparent masks aren’t certified is because there aren’t any current certifications available due to the fact that there aren’t any product standards and corresponding defined testing procedures.
With that being said, this leaves many textile masks and transparent masks being tested against the same testing procedures defined for surgical masks. This means that these masks typically fail because they are being compared to something altogether different. Textile masks fail due to the nature of their material. Furthermore, transparent masks cannot even be tested due to a lack of suitable test infrastructure.
From the available testing, we can see that textile masks offer incredibly poor protection because the material used to manufacture them is permeable. Nevertheless, they are officially approved all over the world. The face-shield style PPE is certified as Personal Protective Equipment, but it is not approved as protection against the pandemic in many countries around the world. This shows that the certification and/or approval of PPE does not offer any information about the overall quality of the product in the context of the pandemic.
To learn more about current mask regulations and the quality and suitability of today’s mask solutions, contact Technomask and shop a wide selection of high quality transparent and hygienic face masks today.
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