Why Masks Are Beneficial
Updated: Jul 3, 2020
As COVID-19 cases surge in the United States, it is increasingly becoming more relevant to wear face masks to protect and prevent the spread. It is especially crucial in the epicenter regions such as New York, to wear a face mask of some sort. Due to there being many people that are asymptomatic, or showing no symptoms of the virus but are infected. By wearing masks in public, it can prevent the likelihood of spreading the virus. A surgical face mask contains three layers: an outer layer, a middle layer, and an inner layer. The outer layer is a hydrophobic layer that repels water, blood, and body fluids. The middle layer is designed to filter bacteria, and lastly, the inner layer is hydrophilic and absorbs water, sweat, and spit. Surgical masks have been proven to prevent illnesses such as influenza, or the flu. Another type of mask many people have been buying are N95 masks which tightly form a seal around the nose and mouth. The N95 masks offer more protection as they cover your nose and mouth areas more tightly. They filter about 95% of particles with a median diameter of 0.3 microns.
A CDC sponsored study published in September 2019 showed that surgical masks and N95 masks are both equally effective in preventing influenza. Sizes of flu viruses can range between 80-120 nanometers while COVID-19 ranges in 120-160 nanometers. It is safe to say that surgical masks and N95 masks offer a degree of protection. As surgical masks and N95 mask supply have become strained, many are opting for masks made out of household items such as T-shirts and tea cloths. But two laboratory studies, one published in 2013 in the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness by scientists with Public Health England and another published in PLoS One in 2008 by scientists in the Netherlands, have shown that homemade masks aren’t as effective at blocking particles of the virus in droplets and aerosols as surgical masks. But they still provided some protection to virus particles in droplets and aerosols. The general public should be wearing cloth face masks, as surgical masks and N95 masks are crucial for those on the front lines. In addition to wearing masks, you should still wash your hands with soap and water and practice social distancing.
By Iris Fan
Co-Founder + Brand Manager