We know that respiratory protection is fundamental for the prevention of viruses and bacteria of all types; for this reason it is important to understand more about the various types of aids such as protective masks for the nose and mouth.
Those for sale are not all the same, and in several cases they are disposable protections, which in economic and ecological terms do not represent the best possible purchase. On the contrary, the models of washable masks are reusable several times , and thus guarantee a long-lasting defense against pathogens, once purchased.
Another factor to take into account, after reuse, is that relating to the functions of the various masks, that is, the types of respiratory protection according to the models.
The CE certified masks, safe and washable
These are FFP2 masks, able to protect the wearer from dust up to values of 10xVELP (limit values of exposure to hazardous dust in the industrial sector).
Thanks to their conformation, these masks also protect against external biological agents – that is, they protect the respiratory tract from the passage of viruses and bacteria at 95%.
As a rule these masks are washable, being formed by water-repellent materials which prevent droplets and water vapor from being ingested into the body through breathing.
On the market there are masks FFP2 and FFP3 which correspond to the certifications required by UNI EN 49: 2009 – Legislative Decree n. 475/1992, which specifies all the requirements for filter masks, for breathability and stability.
They must be made from different layers:
- the first layer that is in contact with the skin is cotton, for maximum comfort and to avoid skin irritation phenomena
- the second layer is formed by the TNT (Non-Woven Fabric) material that retains dust and pathogens – performing the main action against the viral or bacterial transmission of infections through droplets
- the third layer is fleece, to ensure both the long life of the masks and the convenience of making them foldable for frequent use.
In terms of comfort, the FFP2 mask is ergonomic, and equipped with a nasal clip: so that it can be adapted to the morphology of the face, and not to drop it during movements and when speaking.
The double protection surgical masks
The certified surgical masks are produced in double-layer TNT. These filter masks from the outside and from your own respiratory system are widely used in the health sector. They are facial protective devices that filter and block pathogens, essential for those who work in environments where the viral and bacterial circulation is high, but also for those who want to take precautions in both situations (asymptomaticity and external protection).
Tailored masks, protection and style
These are masks available in different colors, or fashion patterns. They are comfortable to wear and breathable, and although they are not medical-sanitary devices, these tailoring masks are however always formed by the 3 layers. Internal natural cotton fiber, TNT layer that retains dust and pathogens, and fleece layer for durability.
The water-repellent material prevents water vapor and droplets from coming into contact with the respiratory system.
Even the sartorial masks are hand or machine washable, comfortable to wear and promote fluid breathing. As it is not a medical device, however, the wearer must comply with the precautionary distance rules, to avoid any possible bacterial or viral transmission.
All these types of masks, tailored or surgical, can be washed by hand or in the washing machine. If you choose to wash them by hand, they can be placed for about 15 minutes in a basin with water and a detergent such as bleach, alcohol or chlorine.
If you choose to wash in the washing machine, at 40-60 ° C they can be properly sanitized with a normal soap. In any case, it is important not to iron them, as the fabric is damaged.
Where to find certified masks
If you are looking for washable cotton masks, you can find them on the Petti Home fabric and linen website. Thanks to its vocation for the “handmade”, Petti Artigiani Italia ensures a varied and affordable selection for tailoring masks , as well as KN95-FFP2 CE certified masks and surgical masks.
Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/photos/virus-protezione-coronavirus-donna-4898571/