Steps for Correctly Wearing a Face Respirator Mask
With Proper Use You Can Get More Safety and Value Out of Your Respirator Mask
Due to the spread of the coronavirus around the world right now, many people are trying to purchase on surgical and respirator face masks right now. It is important to keep in mind that there is a proper technique that people need to follow in order to stay safe and prevent contamination.
Why do you need a mask?
When air gets polluted, both solid and liquid particulates can get inhaled into the lungs where they can cause damage. Face Respirator masks are designed to filter outside air and trap these particles before getting into your lungs.
It is still safer to stay home where the air is a lot cleaner, but if you must go outside then a mask is advised. The same applies if you are dealing with someone who is diagnosed with respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.
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Properly wearing a mask
- CLEAR SKIN: A mask forms an airtight seal with your skin to make sure that all incoming air gets filtered. The mask must make full contact with the skin in order to be effective at all. That means no: facial hair, loose hair strands, jewelry, etc. Make sure that nothing gets in between the mask and your skin.
FORM FIT: To keep an airtight seal around the mask, pull the straps tightly around your head. Angle one on your neck and the other one over the top. Use the adjustable nose clip to mold the mask against your face. Make
DON'T TOUCH MASK FABRIC: Face respirator masks are only effective at filtering air when they are dry. Most mask models are also only effective at filter non-oil particles. By touching the mask, then you may be contaminating the surface with harmful materials and viruses. Additionally, you may be making the mask ineffective at all. It's a best practice to handle the mask by the edges or just the straps at all times.
KEEP THE INSIDE CLEAN: The air you breathe inside the mask is only as clean as the inside of the mask. In order to ensure the mask protects you from the outside air is to store the mask in a way to keep the inside as sanitary as possible. If you take off your mask, make sure to keep it in an airtight bag to keep the inside clean. If no bag is available then, place the mask on a smooth, clean surface do prevent exposing the mask to outside air. Hanging the mask can be used as a last resort.
- REUSE: There is no way of determining the maximum possible number of safe reuses for an N95 respirator as a generic number to be applied in all cases [Source: CDC]. A good guideline is to throw away the mask after 8 hours of total use or in the following cases:
- Mask has been in contact with aerosol sprays
- Mask has been contaminated with bodily fluids
- Mask hasn't been stored properly in an air tight container
- The inside of the mask has been exposed
- Mask has been taken off more than 5 times
By following these guidelines, you can be sure to use your masks to their full potential safely.