New Delhi: As it is in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, safety measures are of paramount importance. One of the ways to safeguard self and others is to wear the mask properly. Fabric masks have become a popular choice among people.
There are many things which one should keep in mind while choosing a fabric mask. The tightness of the weave is very important. A tight-weave 100 per cent cotton is a good choice to make.
One should also focus on checking the fabric before buying. One can hold it up to the light to check whether the outlines of individual fibres are visible. If they are visible then it is certainly not going to be a good filter.
A study suggested that 100 per cent polyester masks do well to protect against the coronavirus.
Also, it is advisable to choose multi-layered masks. Many studies have found that masks made from multiple layers are better in terms of blocking the small particles.
The material polypropylene is derived from plastic. Hence, it works as a good filter. Masks made out of polypropylene also hold an electrostatic charge. Unlike the other materials, polypropylene keeps its electrostatic charge in the humidity created when you breathe out.
The polypropylene can lose electrostatic charge after washing but it can be restored by ironing it. It can also be restored by rubbing it with a plastic glove for 20 seconds.
Moreover, the shape of the mask is also of utmost importance. Apart from the filtering capacity, it works best when it seals the face properly. Masks with pleats or folds are also good. It can close the gaps at the side of the masks. Masks with a flat front design are less effective.
Masks with exhalation valves should be avoided. These masks make it easier to breathe out but it also releases unfiltered air. In this case, other persons can be vulnerable to infection. Protecting others should also be an objective of wearing masks.
As per experts, cloth masks should be washed daily with soap and hot water. However, use it only when it is completely dry. Wet masks should be avoided.