Nowadays, wearing a respirator at work has become a significant part of the new normal. It protects us from inhaling high-risk airborne particles such as germs and viruses that can be present in the surrounding environment.
Centres for Disease Control and Protection also stated that putting on a mask or respirator correctly protects your health and aids in reducing the spread of infectious diseases. However, many people unknowingly wear the mask improperly with an exposed nose or mouth which has to be stopped. They have to be aware that they can be the carriers of dangerous microbes despite not feeling ill.
That’s why the government and other medical bodies came up with guidelines on how to take care of your mask-wearing practices to reap maximum benefits and enjoy healthy living.
Mentioned below are the proper ways to safely wear and take off the respirator.
How to put on a mask or respirator correctly?
- Do wash your hands before touching a mask. In situations where soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer to limit the spread of infections.
- Avoid touching the front part of the mask while putting it on. Instead, use straps and elastics to wear it.
- Do make sure that there are gaps between the mask and your face after putting it on to embrace free breathing.
How to take off a mask or respirator properly?
- Take out the mask safely without touching its front part. For this, use only the ties or bands attached to it.
- Kindly dispose of the mask carefully into a closed bin.
- Do wash or disinfect your hands afterwards.
- If a bin is not available at the moment, consider packing the mask in a plastic bag to limit the spread of infections. Also, if it is reusable or a cloth mask, remember to keep it away from other laundry clothes.
These are some necessary steps to carefully wear and take off the mask which you should practice regularly to be safe from catching infections.
However, after understanding how to put on and dispose of a mask correctly, it’s time to know ways to disinfect a face covering and take optimum care of the same.
How to disinfect a face mask or respirator?
It is vital to know that not all masks can be cleaned or washed after every use. Cloth face masks are the ones that can be cleaned or disinfected for regular usage.
Here are some measures to follow while washing a cloth face mask:
- Wash your mask separately from other laundry clothes. You can even add bleaching products to thoroughly clean the face covering.
- Use hot water to effectively kill germs and viruses present in the mask.
- Use high-temperature iron settings when ironing the mask.
- Do not mix clean face masks with other face coverings. Keep it separate.
However, for more protection, it is recommended to use N95 masks. They are for one-time use only, and potentially offer 95% effectiveness in fighting against germs and viral infections. You can keep them in clean and dry plastic containers and disinfect the mask by sterilizing it.
Besides, do not use disposable aids repeatedly and dispose of them immediately after the first use. Because these are not meant for reusing and may lose their filter power after getting dumped.
Even disinfecting them with a hand sanitizer or some other product may contribute to decreasing the effectiveness of the mask.
Fabric-made masks can be reused. So, pay attention to the material and labels while buying face covering for yourself and take necessary care of them. You can even ask the seller to know the quality and material of the mask. However, it is recommended to buy N95 masks for better protection from unwanted viral infections.