As everyone knows, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says that wearing a mask is the best way of controlling coronavirus. However, some people wear disposable masks such as the surgical ones or the N-95 varieties. Now the question is whether it is safe to reuse disposable masks. The answer is ‘YES,’ but only if you are following a few essential things.
An epidemiologist, Dr. Lucian Davis of the Yale School of Public Health, studies breathing problems and respiratory infections. According to Davis, touching the face while the mask is on is a strict no-no. Moreover, doing the same can cause virus particles on the surfaces to reach your body. However, if you touch your mask at all, it is mandatory to wash your hands with soap or use a sanitizer before doing so. Besides, make sure that the sanitizer that you are using contains the required quantity of alcohol. Also, you have to be cautious while removing the mask. It means that it is only safe to remove your mask at a place where there is nobody around.
Apart from maintaining cleanliness, there is a way of removing masks. If you want to avoid infection, you must use the ear straps to remove it to prevent contamination. Dr. Davis is confident that most infectious particles are on the mask’s front surface, so it is not safe to pull out casually. Now, since you want to reuse disposable masks, ensuring secure storage is mandatory. Therefore, after removing it from your face, choose a particular place for storage that is convenient too.
Reuse disposable masks after storing it safely for a few days
On the other hand, Jade Flinn is an educator and nurse of the Biocontainment Unit at the famous John Hopkins Medicine. According to her, the other people working there were storing used masks in paper bags. Moreover, some of them were using different clean storage ways that have excellent ventilation. As a result, the masks can air out and be ready for reuse later. The brown paper bags are the ones in which people carry their lunch usually.
Dr. Davis believes that using Ziploc bags or Tupperware storages are also safer options for storing used masks. Altogether, in any case, keeping safely till later use is better than cleaning the masks every time. Medical experts emphasize that people must avoid touching the edges of the bag where they are storing used masks. Later, you can reuse the mask after it is left out for a couple of days.
According to Jade Flinn, cleaning disposable masks is not a good option for a significant reason. It is because, when you are washing then, you will use a disinfectant. Now, that liquid will get into the fiber strands, and you will end up breathing the chemical. Although there are special machines in health centers and hospitals for cleaning masks, it is impossible to do it at home. In those machines, people use special gases and liquids to disinfect the masks. However, leaving them in a safe place for a couple of days is the best alternative. Besides, reusing masks is a good option since there is already a shortage in many areas.