Regulations for Non-occupational Respiratory and Reusable Face Masks


Currently, people across the globe are struggling with the explosion of coronavirus that spreads through droplet respiratory transmission. It means if an infected person sneezes or coughs the droplets that spread comes in contact with other people directly or indirectly through surfaces where the contaminated drops fell.

Regulations for respiratory face masks

People are looking for information about face masks because it protects them a lot from avoiding COVID-19. However, it is not 100% protection from contaminants or viruses because there is a loose fit between the face and facemask surface. However, safety masks that are needed in the healthcare facility need to adhere to the FDA regulations. However, for non-occupational use, the CDCs guidance associated with the respiratory mask is based on several main factors.

  1. Respiratory masks need to be worn correctly during exposure.
  2. Mask needs to fit snugly on the user’s face. [It reduces the number of particles that gain access inside the breathing zone via gaps between a respiratory seal and the user’s skin.
  3. The filter material used in respirators has to be extremely effective in capturing particles trying to pass the filter.
  4. Breathability allows easy respiration. Respirators are designed with four layers including outer hydrophobic, the second nonwoven for filtration, the third a support layer, and the fourth one that can stay dry.

Researchers conduct lab studies under perfect conditions without gaps or leaks in the mask. For homemade masks degree of filtration is low. People staying home and exercising social distancing in the public do not need high-level protection in comparison to the healthcare workers.

When you choose a material for a homemade mask then ensure that it is sufficiently dense to capture the virus. Besides, the fabric has to be breathable, so you can wear it comfortably. Below are some tips to clean the homemade face masks.

Tips to sanitize reusable face masks

  • In a mixture of very hot water and regular dish soap dip the used face mask. If the mask is soiled heavily add oxygen cleaner. Agitate and keep it soaked for some time. Rinse it thoroughly using lots of water, squeeze and allow it to dry in the sun.
  • You can machine wash it with hot water and laundry soap [without fabric softener]. If you prefer machine dry then use a mesh bag to avoid damages to the ties or elastics.
  • Other over the counter detergent or soaps like liquid laundry sanitizers, ammonium salts, or bleach can be used instead of detergent or soap while washing in the machine or by hand.
  • For extra sanitizing, you can spray the mask with 70% isopropyl alcohol or 60% ethanol on the outside and inside. Allow it to air dry.

Coronavirus is approximately 0.1 microns and floats around in different sizes ranging from 0.2 to hundreds of microns. It is because people cast off coronavirus in fluid droplets, which include plenty of proteins, salts, and other things.

Even if water from the droplets evaporates there is plenty of filth that stays behind in the form of gel-like or solid material. So, scientists say that 0.3 microns are useful minimum filtration requirements for efficiency.

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