What to remember when buying a mask
Masks have become an essential element in our daily lives. However, you can not use any piece of fabric as a mouthpiece, since there are basic criteria recommended by health institutions, which will allow you to guarantee your protection and that of those around you.
Next, in a info-grinik, we explain what you should take into account when buying a mask, because from its typologies to your current situation are basic characteristics that can determine the use of one type of mask or another. Remember that masks are a complementary means to other preventive measures to prevent the spread of viruses and other types of infections, such as washing your hands frequently, maintaining distance and reducing social contact.
Types of mask
One of the most important aspects when buying masks is to know their different typologies, since each one adapts to the current situation you are going through. These are the main types of masks:
- For healthy people, the most recommended are hygienic masks.
- For sick people, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, the use of surgical masks is recommended.
- For those who are in direct contact with the virus, whether health workers or caregivers of people positive for Covid-19, PPE masks should be used.
- In the case of children, it is recommended to use hygienic masks from the age of 3, always according to their age range.
How are hygienic masks?
Hygienic masks are the most common, those found in stores such as LaTiendadeMascarillas.com. It is a protective complement recommended by health institutions, along with other preventive measures such as frequent hand washing, maintaining a safe distance and reducing social contact. They are the ones that you will find most easily for sale in any establishment or online business that has masks in general, as well as in pharmacies.
This type of mask consists of several layers of textile material and can be single-use or reusable. In the latter case, the manufacturer will indicate the maximum number of washes, although 100% efficiency is not guaranteed after many of them. The recommendation of the institutions is not to wear this type of mask for more than 4 hours in a row.
What are surgical masks like?
We find them basically in clinical environments, but currently people who are sick, infected or suspected of being sick are recommended. The goal of their use is to prevent the spread of infectious agents and they are designed to filter the air, while preventing the spread of viruses when talking, coughing or sneezing.
It is not recommended to use them for more than 4 hours in a row, although their durability may depend on each manufacturer. Of course, as soon as you notice it dirty or wet, you will have to change it. You will find them for sale packaged in any establishment, online store or pharmacy.
What are the PPE masks?
Personal Protective Equipment, known as PPE, is designed for the use of people who are in regular contact with the virus, such as health professionals and caregivers, as well as for people at risk, since their objective is to create a barrier between the potential risk and the person who uses it. The purpose of PPE is to filter the inhaled and exhaled air to avoid the possible entry and exit of contaminating particles. Depending on the effectiveness of your filter, they are distinguished in three types: FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3.
As with other masks, it is recommended not to use PPE for more than 4 hours in a row. In the event that it gets wet or deteriorates, it must be replaced immediately by another mask. PPE is sold in pharmacies and in specialized establishments and online stores.
What to look at on the labeling
Now that you know the different types of masks, their durability and their possible points of sale, you must take into account another important aspect when buying masks: their labeling. Through it you will be able to know if they have been validated by the UNE and whether or not they have undergone verifications.
In the case of hygienic masks, references 0064 and 0065 indicate that they meet the specifications of the UNE. If these masks have other different specifications, they can refer to other tests or that UNE regulations are not complied with. If no references are found, it will be understood that the masks have not undergone any verification or test.
In addition, it is recommended to look on the label whether or not the masks are reusable, if the effectiveness of bacterial filtration is equal to or greater than 90% or 95% and if the breathability is less than 60 Pa/CM2. The basic data that you will find on the labeling of hygienic masks are:
- Product name: hygienic mask.
- Size (adult / children).
- Duration (reusable / non-reusable).
- Instructions (placement and use).
- Composition of the material (fabric or other textile material).
- Maintenance (how to wash it and recommended number of washes, if it is reusable).
In the case of surgical masks, you must check on the label the CE mark, which ensures that the mask complies with the legislation, in addition to the reference UNE EN 14683 that indicates its quality standard and the type of mask, if it is Type I or Type II.
As for PPE, in addition to the CE mark, you must check on its label the reference UNE EN-149 that guarantees the quality standard, the NR mark for non-reusable or R mark for reusable ones and, finally, the type of mask (FFP1, FFP2, FFP3) and also the type of filter, which can be P1, P2, P3.
This article is merely informative, in a info-grinik we do not have the power to prescribe any medical treatment or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to go to a doctor in case you have any type of condition or discomfort.
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