Different occasions call for different types of masks and respirators. Where you happen to be, for instance in a grocery store or crowded park, will change what mask you ought to wear. There are other factors that should influence your decision as well, such as the weather and the proximity of other people. It is always best to err on the side of caution. PPEHOTLINE recommends choosing high-efficiency masks for:
- All indoor settings where individuals are present.
- Poorly ventilated rooms where individuals were present before you.
- Outdoor areas where social distancing is not possible.
A high-efficiency mask is one that addresses at least six components of a safe mask: Filtration Efficiency, Fit, Seal, Breathability, Durability, and Reusability (FFSBDR). While we prioritize these characteristics in this order, there is room for other valid considerations. Selecting transparent masks would be considerate for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Using masks that allow for good voice clarity is also important, especially if you carry out a job that requires you to talk to a lot of people whilst wearing a mask. Nonetheless, we believe such factors should not take primacy over filtration efficiency. We also believe that people are better protected by wearing one high-efficiency mask than many double masking practices. Likewise, wearing a mask with more layers does not necessarily mean better protection.
There are many organizations seizing the opportunity to innovate a modern mask, one that addresses the characteristics above. We recommend doing thorough research when deciding to invest in your health and safety through any product, making sure the necessary standards are being met.