Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, face-coverings and face masks have become a fact of life. Whilst blue medical face masks may be a firm favourite for some, they are not the best option as they are throwaway and bad for the environment. For those who are looking for a way to add an extra layer of protection against germs and bacteria and/or simultaneously minimise waste to protect the environment one option is reusable face masks.
One form of reusable face mask that has dramatically risen in popularity recently is the antimicrobial face mask. With antimicrobial face masks claiming to have powerful germ-killing properties, let’s take a look at the level of protection they actually provide and what this means in the wider context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why do we wear face masks?
Currently in the UK we must wear a face covering or face mask over the nose and mouth whenever we are in a public space, such as on public transport or in a public shopping area. They are not enjoyable to wear and man people find them uncomfortable and difficult to breathe or even concentrate in. This makes us beg the question: why exactly do we need to wear face masks?
According to the GOV.UK website, there is growing scientific evidence that suggests wearing a face mask or face-covering does help to protect individuals from contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
Here’s what they say:
“COVID-19 can be spread directly by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces by touch and subsequently from touching the face. That is why hand hygiene is so important in controlling the infection.
Evidence shows a face covering can help in reducing the spread of droplets and therefore potentially infecting others, and could help to reduce the spread of infection as lockdown measures start to be lifted. It is important people refrain from touching their face covering when wearing it, where possible, to avoid hand to mask transmission of the virus.”
Wearing a face covering is currently compulsory in indoor areas and where social distancing is not possible. Here, wearing a material covering across your mouth and nose is mandatory unless you are medically exempt.
However, it is very important to point out that wearing a face-covering or face mask does not serve as a replacement for proper hand hygiene and cleaning of surfaces, nor does it replace the benefits of a healthy lifestyle that will help to naturally boost your immune system and offer your body the ultimate defence against all manner of illnesses.
What are antimicrobial face coverings?
Many people who are concerned about contracting COVID-19 are opting for what they believe is a higher level of protection when it comes to a face mask by choosing an antimicrobial face covering. But what does this mean? Do they offer more protection than a regular face mask?
Something that is antimicrobial is defined as ‘an agent that kills microorganisms or stops their growth’. So, this means that antimicrobial face masks claim to be able to attack, and kill, any form of viruses or bacteria that land on the face mask or face-covering.
So, what protection do antimicrobial face masks provide?
Antimicrobial face masks work to prevent harmful microbes from penetrating the mask altogether, whilst also preventing harmful bacteria and viruses from being able to land and live on the face mask. This ultimately means that an antimicrobial face-covering will, by nature, deliver a higher level of protection against SARS-CoV-2 than a standard cloth face mask.
This means that when looking for an antimicrobial face covering, it is vital that you search for one that has been treated with antimicrobial treatments to ensure that the mask delivers a high level of protection.
Protection from COVID-19
One such antimicrobial face mask that seeks to protect the wearer from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is the Carrington Mask. This mask is coated with an antimicrobial treatment that is up to 99.99% effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
It is important to remember that even though an antimicrobial mask delivers a significantly higher level of protection than a standard cloth face mask, these masks are not medical masks. You must still continue to maintain proper hand hygiene. You must also follow the social distancing restrictions whilst this remains the law from government bodies.
And, as is always important even when there isn’t a pandemic, you should address your current lifestyle and ensure you are making healthy lifestyle choices. A nutritious plant based diet, daily exercise and breaking bad habits will set you on the right track.