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Disposable vs Reusable Face Masks- Points to Ponder

As we continue to live with the threat of the new coronavirus, wearing face masks is now a generally accepted norm.

In Australia, people are required to use face masks while travelling on public transport, where physical distancing is next to impossible. People are also advised to wear face masks in places where physical distancing is hard to maintain. These include busy shops, walkways, department stores and supermarkets.

Why wear face masks?

Face mask-wearing policies are based on studies showing that face masks can offer some level of protection from germs, including the novel coronavirus. Face masks can help prevent the transmission of the virus from infected individuals. During the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, those infected were already being required to wear face masks.

Soon enough, governments required face mask use at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to disposable mask shortages as the demand exceeded the supply. People then had to resort to making their own face masks – thus giving birth to reusable face masks.

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Disposable and reusable face masks – a comparison

Now that both reusable and disposable face masks are widely available, some may wonder how these masks stack up against each other. Here, we break down how these face masks perform by considering certain key factors.

1. Protection

The primary purpose of general face mask use is two-pronged. First, it can protect wearers against those who may be asymptomatic or not showing any symptoms. Second, face masks can prevent asymptomatic carriers from transmitting the virus to others when they are out in public.

Both disposable and reusable face masks have been shown to prevent the release of droplets in one study conducted by the Duke University

Disposable surgical face masks (including N95) offer excellent protection against germs, including the new coronavirus. However, the use of surgical face masks is recommended for hospital settings and for those infected with the virus. N95 masks, meanwhile, are intended for the use of medical professionals.

Three-layered reusable face masks come highly recommended for general use and protection against the new coronavirus and other germs. However, you also need to clean and sanitise a reusable face mask after every use.

2. Cost

Since prolonged use reduces the efficacy of disposable face masks, you’re likely to need more than one if you stay outside for a couple of hours in a day. And while surgical masks are relatively cheap, N95 masks are expensive. Also, as mentioned earlier, both types of disposable face masks are meant for use in healthcare settings.

Reusable face masks might seem more expensive than disposable surgical masks on the outset. However, the fact that they are reusable means they are the cheaper option in the long run.

There are also different types of reusable face masks. People can opt for triple-layered (or more) options and two-layered ones that allow you to insert a filter in between for added protection.

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3. Comfort

Disposable surgical face masks are mass-produced and have standard features. They comprise three layers of fabric and ear loops. Since they are made to fit a specific size and designed for short-term use, they are not as comfortable as reusable face masks.

Reusable face masks are made to fit snugly and comfortably around a wearer’s face. There are also options for adults and children.

4. Environmental impact

The widespread use of disposable face masks has led to a substantial increase in medical waste ending up in landfills and the world’s oceans. Since disposable masks are made of plastic, the waste they create can linger for hundreds of years.

Reusable face masks are a better option as their longevity is guaranteed as long as they are properly cleaned and disinfected after every use.

Fevermates face masks

At Fevermates, we offer both high-quality disposable and reusable face masks.

Choose the best face mask that best meets your needs and keep yourself protected from the new coronavirus and other germs.

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