Personal protection in times of a pandemic means protecting against the unseen and the unpredictable, which can affect us in a combination of ways. The correct use of masks and face shields can provide enhanced protection for yourself and can help protect others in your home and community.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you wear a mask correctly and consistently, you can reduce your risk of getting sick and help prevent the spread of harmful particles. The CDC recommends wearing face shields in addition to a mask. Adding a face shield to the mask is adding an extra layer of protection, intended to shield the face and especially the eyes.
Here are some attributes of effective personal protection equipment and what you should be looking for when choosing the right solution for you.
1. The right face mask can help protect yourself and others in your community. You should look for the following when choosing a mask:
Filtration Efficiency – The higher the Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) and Particulate Filtration Efficiency (PFE), the better.
Overall comfort – Look for a stretchy material, which covers your mouth and nose well, without creating any gaps where air can escape or get in. Also, it should feel good on your skin, without uncomfortably pressing on any part.
Adjustable ear loops – The ear loops should also be comfortable for everyday wear. The best masks have easily customizable ear loops, to protect your ears from feeling sore after only a few hours of wearing the mask, and that adjust to fit the size and shape of your face.
Tight fit over the nose – Close fit to the face is crucial to ensure minimal air leaks around the mask. The best masks have a nose clip or wire which helps seal the mask around your nose area, without causing discomfort.
Replaceable filter inserts – Masks with inner pocket filters are among the masks recommended by the CDC. To improve comfort and ensure the mask is worn at all times as recommended, filters should be easy to purchase and the addition and removal of filter inserts should be easy.
2. Face shields add an extra layer of personal protection. These pieces of personal protective equipment are best for situations where social distancing isn't possible and where the risk of community disease spread is high. Here is what you should look for when deciding on a face shield:
Coverage – The size of the face shield should be large enough to cover the entire face.
Anti-fog coating – This feature is extremely useful, as it prevents the buildup of fog inside the face shield.
Foam insert on the forehead level – This added feature should have a consistent thickness, to distance the face shield from the face and make wearing comfortable.
Comfort – The face shields that have an elastic band are wide and stretchy enough to offer increased comfort and guarantee universal fit.
White space/ Personalization – This is a nice-to-have feature, especially for those applications where the name or function of the person wearing the face shield should be displayed. The white background around the forehead provides a place to write those details.
A few considerations to keep in mind when deciding on adding a face shield to the mask:
1. Why add a face shield to your mask? Adding a face shield in addition to a face mask can be helpful in situations when social distancing isn't possible. A fluid-resistant face shield protects a large portion of the face from splashes, splatter or spray.
2. Is a face shield for you? Wellmien's Disposable Face Shield is designed for use by medical personnel, cashiers, bank employees, government employees, restaurant staff, and all those who are in a position to find themselves frequently around a large number of people.
3. You're wearing prescription glasses and you're worried that the face shield will add to your fogging woes? Worry no more, as you can find a face shield with anti-fog coating, such as Wellmien's Disposable Face Shield. This helps reduce moisture build-up and avoid low visibility and hazing and can be worn concurrently with other face and eye protective equipment or prescription eyeglasses.
4. Are there any more advantages to adding a face shield to your protective measures? If you choose to wear a face shield in concurrence with a mask, you will find that you are less inclined to touch your face, which can reduce the risk of infection through the mucous membranes.
While no single piece of personal protective equipment can be guaranteed to prevent virus transmission, having the right safety solutions can help us adapt to our new normal, get back to work and start reshaping the future as we know it — together. Because now, we all share the responsibility to protect others by protecting ourselves.