Face masks have become such an essential commodity. The masks are of three types-cloth masks, 3 layered surgical masks, and N95. However, there are so many myths surrounding the face masks pertaining to its usability, disinfecting or even wearing them in a correct way.
Here are some more myths debunked regarding face masks that will ease your mind.
Face masks can be disinfected in the sunlight- Myth
Fact- There is no research that proves that sunlight can disinfect the fabric of the face masks. The cloth masks can be washed properly and dried in the sunlight but believing that sunlight can sterilize them is a big NO.
Microwaves can clean off the germs- Myth
Fact– This is somewhat true but only if the fabric of face masks can withstand it. Many masks have metal nose pins or wire in the face masks that can result in a fire hazard if not properly ensured.
masks don’t need cleaning after just one use- Myth
Fact- At this stage of the pandemic, it is suggested that the cloth face masks are washed after every use. The disposable mask shouldn’t be re-used either. This is a common error that needs to be avoided at all costs.
Disposable face masks can be trashed just like any other waste- Myth
Fact- The disposable masks such as N95 or surgical, must be treated like medical waste- discarding them in an improper way raises more problems than one.
a) In the case of surgical masks, fold it half inwards and then, fold the mask into another half, until it looks like a roll. The masks can also be wrapped with the ear loops so that it will not open. Wrap the mask in a tissue paper or polythene bag to discard it.
b) If it’s N95, first remove the mask so that it doesn’t disseminate the contaminants on the mask. Then, place the mask in a plastic bag, zip-lock bag or even paper bag and secure it tightly. Discard the plastic bag into the garbage can.
Using face masks that have been drenched in rain is also effective- Myth
Fact- It still hasn’t been proved that wet face coverings can protect from vulnerabilities. Moreover, wearing wet masks is okay when the situation is unavoidable such as unexpected rainfall while outdoors until it makes it difficult to breathe. It’s always a good idea to carry an extra pair especially during the summer and monsoon seasons.
It is very important to ensure that the mask fits snugly around the nose and completely covers the nose and mouth and does not just hang loosely around the neck which defeats the purpose of using them.
Also remember, not to ever touch the front surface of the mask as that’s the contaminated portion. The aforementioned points are just a few precautions that can help anyone to avoid making mistakes. Everyone has the kind of face masks that they prefer to wear. It is always necessary to care for the masks that are such an important accessory these days.