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Masked…. but is it really working for COVID

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by / Views 59 / July 16, 2020

I can’t see your face and more, masked from the COVID frontline:

Wearing a mask in public is now a mandatory exercise in many states and it’s important to dive into the differences between show and safety.

I know these are cutting words in the current COVID environment however, here at Pure Living we think you should know what’s working and what’s not.

Interestingly there has been a ton of work on trying to find the answers to what works best and still allows you to breath reasonably well.

Science:

Engineers at Cambridge back in 2013 took a dive into the question and here’s their conclusion:

“Conclusion: Our findings suggest that a homemade mask should only be considered as a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals, but it would be better than no protection.”

In essence many of the self-made and even store-bought products are questionable and do more to meet the look not the intent. And no, using your vacuum cleaner bag is not an acceptable idea…. it blocks too much air flow.

If your undecided on what to do consider at least the bare minimum a cloth or surgical mask.  But keep reading……there’s more to consider.

Filter efficency of fabrics

In essence many of the self made and even store bought products are questionable and do more to meet the look not the intent. And no using your vacuum cleaner bag is not an acceptable idea…. it blocks too much air flow. Note the difference between the Surgical Mask at 96+% and the best other options…. at far less ?

If your undecided on what to do consider at least the bare minimum; a cloth or surgical mask.  But keep reading……there’s more !

Facial Hair ?

Yes there is a resurgence in beards however, in terms of the COVID crisis you can’t effectively seal a mask with a beard…. unless it meets specific criteria. Don’t believe me, let’s take a look at the CDC site which has a great pictorial on the subject: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/FacialHairWmask and then follow up with this link to show the massive difference in efficiency with anything less than a form fitting mask.Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks

Contaminated Masks ?

And now for the other shoe to drop. Do you know what’s the most contaminated fabric in the world, it’s cotton.  Has your mask been certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard GOTS or are you putting yourself at an unnecessary risk for inhalation of a host of contaminants?

Want to know more ? You can read this link for some thoughts on the industry https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/cotton-environmental-impact and then if you want to really understand the trade take a look at this video: https://vimeo.com/8635581 . If your not finding these links eye opening how about switching to another site dealing with the intensive amount of pesticides used for cotton production : https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/clothing/environmental-impact-of-cotton-production. Clearly you have a choice and can make some changes in your buying habits.

Want a deeper dive into the mask materials details ?

A well done and extensive evaluation of the materials masks are made of can be found at: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-best-mask-or-diy-face-covering-for-covid-19/  The video looks at 20 different mask materials and then evaluates them from a perspective of efficiency.

Action Steps:

  • Wash your hands, often
  • Don’t touch your face
  • If using a cloth mask, buy organic
  • Shave regularly
  • Wear your mask when others are present
  • Clean your home with safe products
  • Keep your immune system at peak performance

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