The best face mask is one that fits
My favorite face mask is a sleek black cloth number — it goes with everything, it doesn’t chafe my face, and it’s sold in a relatively affordable three-pack, so I always have a backup. I have a whole collection of cloth masks, like you probably do, cobbled together at random, in bright colors and patterns, generally homemade by an assortment of people in my life.To get more news about famous FFP2 mask company, you can visit tnkme.com official website.
Yet, as we’ve slipped into allowing our face coverings to project our tastes while they protect us, there’s another element of style that’s often forgotten: fit. And fit is incredibly important when it comes to how effective our masks are.
Tons of celebrities have been seen out with their masks underneath their noses. Notably, members of Congress who promote masking up have been seen pulling up their sliding masks in public.
Cloth masks sometimes lend themselves to poor etiquette: Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) slipped his down to sneeze into his hand on C-SPAN, which is, to put it plainly, horrifying. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is known to have masks that match her outfits but was once photographed in a conversation with George Floyd’s brother, mask hanging down below her mouth. And soon after his inauguration, President Joe Biden’s mask slipped down his face in the midst of signing an executive action related to Covid-19. It happens to the best of us. Walk around anywhere in pandemic America, and you’ll surely encounter people fiddling with their masks.
But in order to truly protect you, cloth masks need to have a snug fit. And wearing a well-fitted mask might be more important than it’s ever been in the pandemic. As previously reported by Julia Belluz for Vox, a more contagious new variant of Covid-19, known as B.1.1.7, that’s now spreading around the world, should make us even more cautious about our risk of exposure to the virus, especially in indoor spaces.
Mask fit really matters
Proper mask-wearing remains a key factor in preventing the transmission of the coronavirus. A mask slip can leave the wearer extremely vulnerable, as the nasal passage is a common entryway for the virus to get into the body. According to a study in Nature Medicine, the virus attaches to certain proteins found in the nasal passage. There are actually more of these proteins in the nose than in the lungs, making an exposed nose a serious threat. You don’t want any viral particles getting to your nose, so it’s imperative that your mask has a tight fit.
Cloth masks are still fine for the general public to use, experts tell me, so don’t feel like you have to run out and buy a medical-grade mask like an N95. We think about what our masks look like every day, but we are largely ignoring the importance of the proper fit. There’s not enough emphasis on what makes a mask well-fitted and effective — we’ve gotten distracted with design, when really we need to be worrying about how comfortable our masks are and whether or not they are secure enough to rely on.
The Respiratory Protection Engineering Task Force, a research group based out of Cambridge University, investigates the efficacy and improvement of civilian face masks and fabrics. “What we found through our research is that the actual filtration material is not as important as fit. In order to get any benefit from a high filtration material, you have to have fit,” Eugenia O’Kelly, a PhD student who heads the group, said. O’Kelly emphasized that without highly specialized machinery, there is no way to be 100 percent sure your mask fits, but did have tips for improved fit and protection.
According to her team’s tests, double masking can be helpful. “Keep in mind, you do not end up numerically doubling your protection by layering masks. I have seen a lot of this type of ‘math’ online, but unfortunately, this is not how depth filtration works,” she said. But doubling up can ensure you get a better seal around the nose and mouth than one mask alone that might be a bit too loose. According to the new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released February 10, well-fitted surgical masks or a “cloth and surgical mask combination” can reduced virus transmission by up to 96.5 percent. The director of the CDC has also urged Americans to wear a mask with “two or more layers,” the New York Times reports.