As face masks are now compulsory in public places in England, it is clear that there is still much confusion about how, where and when you are best to use them for maximum protection to you and others.
We want to help people understand the best practices when wearing a face covering by debunking common misconceptions and myths surrounding them.
Here are the top 15 myths explained:
- Myth: You can wear a face mask multiple times
For the majority of face masks, this isn’t the case. When a face mask is worn, viruses and bacteria will attach to the surface. When you remove your face mask, the viruses and bacteria remain on the mask and can also transfer onto your hands. If you were to put the same mask on again, there is a significant risk of contamination. The OmniProtect face mask however, uses patented technology that continually inactivates viruses and bacteria for up to 210 uses. Therefore, germs do not live on the surface of the mask and the risk of cross-contamination is significantly reduced, meaning it can be used multiple times without washing. It only needs to be hand-washed once a week in cold water.
2. Myth: A face mask will not stop me from catching Coronavirus
Face masks have a significant role to play in reducing the risk of transmission of viruses and bacteria. Whilst no face mask can ever guarantee that it will prevent you from catching Coronavirus, it is one of many important steps to take in order to protect yourselves and others.
3. Myth: One size mask fits all
It is essential that your face mask fits flush to the face with no gaps. This forms a necessary barrier against airborne contaminants.
4. Myth: All face masks provide the same level of protection
There are many face masks on the market and the level of protection is variable. In conventional masks, this largely depends upon the level of filtration which the masks offer and is essentially a measure of what size particles are filtered.
The OmniProtect mask not only contains filtration material, with a bacterial filtration efficiency of >98%, but its outer and filtration layers are treated with unique, patented technology which has been scientifically proven to destroy viruses and bacteria that may come in to contact with the surface of the mask, including SARS-CoV-2; the virus that causes Coronavirus.
5. Myth: My face mask protects me from other people
Wrong: Conventional face masks are designed to protect others from any bacteria or viruses exhaled by the wearer. In contrast, the protection offered by the OmniProtect face mask is two-fold: 1) If the wearer came into contact with an individual who had Coronavirus, the mask would prevent the virus from reaching them, 2) If the wearer had Coronavirus, the treatment on the fabric would destroy >99.9% of the exhaled virus, protecting whoever they came into contact with.
6. Myth: I don’t have to wash my hands as much or social distance if I wear a face mask
Wearing a face mask is one step of many that needs to be taken in order to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. It should be used in conjunction with hand washing and social distancing.
7. Myth: Face masks can be made at home from fabric and are as safe as those manufactured for purpose
Whilst many people are choosing to make face coverings at home, these do not offer a comparable level of protection to masks containing filtration material and as such, airborne viruses and bacteria can pass through.
8. Myth: It is too late to start wearing a face mask
As the UK starts to resume a new normal and people interact with others more frequently than they have done in lockdown, it is more important now than ever before to wear a face mask in order to ensure that the rate of infection remains low and we do not have a second wave.
9. Myth: All face masks kill Coronavirus
Face masks that do not have antiviral properties simply act as a filter for viruses and bacteria, but they do not kill or deactivate them and they remain alive on the surface of the mask.
10. Myth: I only have to wear a facemask over my mouth, not my nose
Airborne droplets and particles which may carry viruses are inhaled through the mouth and nose. It is therefore essential to ensure that your face mask covers both your mouth and nose for your protection.
11. Myth: Wearing a face mask makes it difficult to breathe
Studies have shown that wearing a face mask has no impact on the saturation of oxygen in your blood. Whilst wearing a face mask will be an adjustment, it is there to protect you.
12. Myth: Face masks are expensive
Disposable face masks have considerably increased in cost as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, which is why many people have opted for reusable options. The OmniProtect face mask is a cost-effective, reusable option; it has been proven to retain its antibacterial and antiviral properties for 210 uses, which is the equivalent to 14 pence per use.
13. Myth: Children do not have to wear a mask
Children under 11 years of age are exempt from the new rules around wearing face masks in shops, however many parents have expressed a preference for their children to wear a mask since they are not immune from catching the disease or transmitting it to others.
14. Myth: If I am not ill, I do not need to wear a face mask
Face masks protect those you come into contact with from any viruses or bacteria you may be carrying. It is important to remember that many people who have Coronavirus do not show any symptoms.
15. Myth: Disposable face masks are only small, so they do not have an environmental impact
Although face masks themselves are small in size, with the global population now opting to wear face masks, the combined environmental impact is sizeable. Reusable face masks provide a sustainable alternative and reduces the amount of face masks that would otherwise be put into landfill.
The OmniProtect face mask is reusable, washable and affordable and offers superior protection through the application of HeiQ technology, which works quickly to continuously inactivate viruses and bacteria. This means that unlike others on the market, the OmniProtect face mask can be safely used, removed and reapplied throughout the day.
The revolutionary technology has been proven to destroy 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2, making it the most effective coronavirus killing technology known to date.