There is Only One Right Way of Wearing Surgical Masks
Can the ordinary 3-ply surgical mask that we usually buy protect us from the virus? And, how do we properly use it?
The absence of vaccine and effective treatment resulted to the fast spread of the COVID-19 worldwide. Wearing a face mask is now required in all public places and transport as a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of the virus. Sadly though, there are numerous posts that are spreading wrong information on how to properly use these 3-ply surgical masks.
The question now is can the ordinary 3-ply surgical mask that we usually buy protect us from the virus? And, how do we properly use it?
Here’s what the 3-ply surgical masks are made of and how it works:
- The COLORED SIDE (outside ply)
This is the blue or green part of the mask facing outward. It is the barrier protecting you from the environment. This ply is water repellent, which means it can prevent blood or any other bodily fluids from GETTING IN the mask. The outside ply has NO air filtering capacity.
- The WHITE SIDE (inside ply)
This is the part facing your mouth. For cheaper brands, this ply is water repellent while for more premium brand this part is made of absorbent material. This ply prevents mucus, saliva and any other bodily fluids from GOING OUT. Which means, this part prevents you from spreading virus or bacteria to others. The inside ply has NO air filtering capacity as well.
- The MIDDLE PLY
The middle ply is sandwiched between the colored and white ply. This ply is the one that HAS filtering capacities. It is usually made of a melt-blown material that stops microbes from entering or exiting the mask.
So, how do you properly where face masks you ask? THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY which is the colored part facing outward and the white part facing inward.
Keep in mind that these surgical masks are designed to avoid infecting other people by blocking or absorbing the droplets containing microbes from going out of the mouth and nose of the user. Meaning, the main purpose is for the user not to spread the virus.
The 3-ply surgical mask has a limited capacity to filter incoming airborne microbes from the environment, only large particles can be filtered out. BUT with proper use, these 3-ply surgical masks CAN help prevent the spread of different viruses including nCoV.
Never ever re-use a 3-ply surgical mask because it has already absorbed the previous user’s saliva and mucus along with some bacteria and viruses.