Not all face masks are created equal, which puts many consumers at risk

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Not all face masks are created equal, which puts many consumers at risk

At the onset of the COVID outbreak, the public rushed to get masks wherever they could, but most of the masks that were available may be less effective than people thought when first shopping for personal protective gear. Even as more states go “back to normal”, with more businesses and public spaces opening up, the country is not “post-pandemic”, and so the type of masks people are wearing still matters in helping to stop the spread.

Many places are still requiring anyone using the space to be masked in an effort to promote continued health, safety, and disease prevention. Overall, consumers are still at risk for contracting coronavirus. While masks are crucial in an overall safety strategy, many masks that people have been using as they go back to work and rejoin the public may not be protecting the people around them effectively.

The two-fold problem with many masks in use today

The primary problem with many masks in circulation stems from one of two things: the masks were either manufactured hastily to meet demand, which resulted in low-quality, or consumers were buying from sites that advertised these low-quality masks as on par with FDA registered surgical masks.

  • Substandard manufacturing: Safety masks and other personal protective equipment is meant to protect against coronavirus, but because of rushed and counterfeit production, people have unknowingly put themselves at risk by buying supplies from an unqualified or unregistered supplier. The rush for equipment to protect against COVID-19 led to a rise in counterfeit protective gear, including masks. In March 2020, a Global News article reported that counterfeit safety masks were pulled from websites in India, Pakistan and a half-dozen other countries. European countries have reported severing ties with equipment vendors because of substandard manufacturing conditions and low-quality equipment.
  • Low-quality products purchased because of false advertising: N95 respirators are known as the gold-standard of safety typically used by health-care workers and paramedics, and at the beginning of the pandemic these were quickly bought up, followed by a shortage in high-quality 3-ply surgical masks. This left many consumers with few options for protection, and when they went online to buy masks as recommended by the CDC, their choices were limited or expensive. As such, some people have been low-quality dust masks in place of surgical masks, often unknowingly, because these masks were marketed as medical masks.

Do you know the difference between a dust mask and a surgical mask?

According to Michigan State University, “Dust masks are not NIOSH* approved disposable filtering facepieces. They can be worn for comfort against non-toxic nuisance dusts during activities like mowing, gardening, sweeping and dusting. These masks are not respirators.” Dust masks do not offer comprehensive protection against major environmental threats, including smoke, pollution, and viruses.

The anatomy of a quality surgical mask

Most experts agree that the highest-quality protective masks play a role in an infection-control strategy that includes regular hand-washing and social distancing strategies. While homemade or DIY cloth masks can offer minimal protection, surgical-grade masks are better. The highest-quality masks are:

  • Made of at least three protective layers
  • Manufactured in a safe, sterile environment
  • FDA registered

The Masks Quick face masks are made to provide real protection. Based in Florida, only sells surgical masks that are FDA registered and Nelson lab tested to be >99% effective for bacterial filtration when used properly. Each mask includes:

  • A waterproof soft non-woven fabric, which absorbs harmful particles
  • A high-quality, meltblown, non-woven fabric with <2.3 CFU/g lab bioburden results and 99.8% bacterial filtration efficiency
  • A skin-friendly non-woven fabric for comfort and additional filtration
  • Bulk pricing, because safety for your family, employees, or clients should also be affordable
  • Fast shipping

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all Americans wear face coverings in public, as they continue to be essential in the fight against coronavirus. Surgical masks decrease the risk of infection when combined with social distancing and hand washing, but the mask you wear matters. Masks Quick offers surgical masks with quality, affordable protection that are available fast.

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