Since the end of confinement, wearing a mask, whether surgical or handcrafted, is compulsory in public transport. And for good reason: Covid-19 is mainly transmitted by the projection of droplets emitted when an individual discusses, coughs or sneezes. The masks therefore make it possible to stop the spread of the postillions.
But are all of these protections equal? In an attempt to answer this question, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published a new user guide on the wearing of medical and artisanal masks.
Fabric mask: how to make it well?
The effectiveness of a mask relies on the tightness of the tissues so that they best filter the droplets. "The filtration of fabrics and masks has been shown to vary between 0.7% and 60%. The higher the filtration efficiency, the more the tissue constitutes a barrier against the virus " explains WHO.
In its guide, the institution recommends the use of three layers of fabric to best protect the wearer:
- an inner layer: this part covers the mouth. It must be made of a hydrophilic material which absorbs the postillions. For this layer, WHO recommends using a fabric made of cotton.
- an intermediate layer: an absorbent fabric such as polypropylene is required for this layer.
- an outer layer: the latter is exposed to the wearer's environment. It is therefore used to slow the spread of droplets. It can be made with polypropylene or polyester.
Are fabric masks really effective?
The WHO has also unveiled the different benefits of masks for people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19. She mentioned in particular the reduction in the risks of contamination. Another point raised by the organization: the mask could help citizens apply other hygiene measures such as regular hand cleaning.
However, the WHO has also discussed the various dangers of the protective mask, such as self-contamination after touching it with infected hands or handling it without any precautions. She said the mask sometimes provided a false sense of security. People who wear it could therefore pay less attention to other barrier gestures.
As a reminder, the organization indicated that a disposable or reusable mask should be used by one person. As soon as it begins to get wet or soiled, the protection should be thrown in the trash in a closed bag or put in the washing machine in a long cycle if it is a cloth mask.
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