Corona current: Do not use vacuum cleaner bags as a mask

Germany is making things. To get a grip on the corona crisis, not only virologists but also politicians are now recommending wearing masks. In everyday life, a simple mouthguard is intended to protect retailers and public transport from infecting themselves and others with the corona virus. And because breathing masks of this time are one of the more out of stock as toilet paper, people are starting to take action themselves.

Sewing machines are fetched from the attic, sewing patterns researched – and masks are simply handcrafted. This is a good idea, because even simple fabric masks can protect against spreading. But private mask production also harbors risks. Now the drugstore chain "dm" has warned of damage to health.

Why masks made from vacuum cleaner bags are dangerous

There are numerous tips on the Internet about materials from which a mouthguard can be sewn. Particularly popular: vacuum cleaner bags as filters. This is exactly what "dm" officially advises against. Because the bags could contain substances that get into the respiratory tract when worn – and cause damage there.

For reasons of hygiene, many vacuum cleaner bags contain a fine, antibacterial powder made of polymer, which can be released by cutting the bag open. If this is then brought directly to the respiratory tract and inhaled, it is harmful to both the lungs and digestive organs.

In a press release, the drugstore chain therefore warns of tips from the Internet that have not been verified. Vacuum cleaner bags could not only be hazardous to health due to fine powder, the filter effect compared to medical masks has not been scientifically proven. In the worst case, the face mask through the filter could do more harm than good.

Crafting masks remains a good idea – just be careful when choosing materials. Here an immunologist explains why simple substances can protect. And if you still need inspiration for a pattern – Guido Maria Kretschmer would have a few mask ideas for you …