With the lockdown slowly easing both in the UK and in the rest of the world, face masks are becoming essential in our day-to-day lives.
But with all the new face coverings flooding the internet at the moment, the search for the perfect product can become overwhelming and complicated. Your face mask needs to suit its purpose, and that may even include your job! So it’s important to pay attention to the different components such as filters and nose strips – should your mask include those?
DO I NEED A FILTER IN MY FACE MASK?
Do you have a specific medical condition? Has your doctor instructed you to wear one? Do you work as a healthcare worker? Are you a frontline worker attending people who might be infected by Covid-19? Do you enter rooms of suspected Covid-19 patients? If the answer is no, then your face mask does not need a filter.
WHY A FILTER ISN’T ALWAYS ESSENTIAL?
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented demand for personal protective equipment.
Before buying any medical grade filter, bear in mind that this equipment is still critically needed by our healthcare and frontline workers, and is in short supply at the moment. The Government has urged the public to avoid using surgical face masks and other PPE to save them for the professionals, such as the NHS workers, needing them most.
If you’re a member of the general public you don’t necessarily need to buy a specialised filter for your face covering to be effective: A mask made out of tightly woven cotton fabric usually does the job.
Plus, adding a filter to your mask will inevitably lead to more difficulty in breathing – not what you want in the hot summer months!
HOW CAN FILTERS BE HARMFUL TO THE ENVIRONMENT?
We all know that Covid-19 triggered a new harmful wave of pollution: everyday more and more single-use PPE and surgical masks wash up on beaches around the world. A great way of reducing your carbon footprint during this period is obviously using reusable face coverings, but what about the filters? Medical grade filters are usually made out of non-woven polypropylene, or PTFE, two non-biodegradable synthetic materials. You typically need to change your filter every week, so before you buy any, be aware of the carbon impact these will have.
DO I NEED A NOSE STRIP IN MY MASK?
Another component to consider is the nose strip – What is it and why should your mask have one?
This little piece of flexible wire will enable you to easily adjust the mask fabric to give it a snug fit over the bridge of your nose, as it’s an area where virus can be shed from. When taking your mask off, it should stay in its position.
At Bags of Ethics, we have carefully selected every element of our reusable face masks, which include a comfortable, and durable nose strip.
Don’t forget: although a nose clip is a sign of quality in a mask, those components do not replace the need to wash your hands and practice safe social distancing!
To shop our range of reusable face masks, visit https://bagsofethics.org/shop/.