A medical mask (or medical face mask) is a loose fitting and disposable form of protection for the wearer’s nose and mouth. It functions as a barrier against invasion of these mucous membranes by potential contaminants. These contaminants would be in the form of large particle droplets, sprays, splatter or splashes that may be a vehicle for viral or bacterial agents.
In reverse, these medical face masks can help to reduce the risk to others. It helps to reduce their exposure to viral and bacterial agents in the wearer’s saliva or respiratory exhalations.
The protection of these masks is against large particle agents. They do not protect against very small particle viral or bacterial agents carried by sneezes or coughs.
A medical face mask will normally use a 3 layer design consisting of 2 non woven layers and one layer of filtration fabric. Testers will normally evaluate them against standards set by the ASTM in North America or against EN 14683 requirements in Europe.
How To Use A Medical Mask?
According to the World Health Organization, the following are the basic guidelines for how to wear masks:
You should clean your hands before you put the mask on and after removing it. Also clean your hands after touching the mask at any time;
Ensure that it covers your nose, mouth and chin while you are wearing it;
Dispose of the mask in a trash bin after you have finished using it;
Avoid using medical face masks that have exhalation valves.