Whether you are simply breathing or speaking to someone, tiny particles are filtered through the fibers of face masks to help diminish the chances of anything entering or exiting your body. While some certain fabrics and masks work better than others, a barrier of some kind helps much more than no layer of protection at all. So whether it’s a department store cotton mask you are wearing or an N-95 respirator, a mask over your nose, mouth, and chin help in lowering the risk of exposure to yourself and others.
Why Masks Work
The tightly woven fibers of cloth masks are known to be superior to most fabrics available, while the non-woven fibers of N-95 respirator masks have been shown to have around a 95% efficiency of trapping droplets and particles trying to exit/enter your respiratory system.
While masks come in a variety of styles and materiality, they all have a similar general goal:
- Filtrating both airborne and ventilatory particles through the fibers of the material used
Nonetheless, all masks function the same using the airflow of your breathing to help with the filtration process.
How To Properly Wear Your Mask
The CDC recommends wearing a face mask whenever you're around people you don’t live with or in public settings. Below are some tips to ensuring your mask is giving you the protection it needs:
- Before putting on a mask, make sure to wash your hands, lathering them in soap and rinsing in water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Once your hands are dry and cleansed, examine the mask you will be wearing for any tears or defects, and check that the outward side is pointing away from your face.
- Besides the exterior of your mask facing outwards, make sure that the bendable portion of the mask is positioned on your nose and not on your chin.
- Depending on your mask type, either loop or tie the mask around each ear/behind your head and make sure the mask is above the nose and under your chin.
- After securing your mask on your face, wash your hands to safely sanitize them.
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