In this blog post, we are trying to address some of the most common questions surrounding 3 ply masks.
The other main objective is to help understand how 3 ply surgical masks can prevent coronavirus infection.
Let’s get started. One of the first questions is:
What is a 3 ply surgical mask?
3 ply masks have three layers in them. This mask is a respiratory mask. It prevents microbes from entering or exiting.
The mask has a melt-blown material infused in a non-woven fabric. This does the filtration. The different layers are as below:
Blue Non-woven Fabric made of PP Spunbond and is cut into 170 to 175 mm for adult size. The density is around 18 GSM to 25 GSM. Other colours could also be used such as blue, green, pink, white, etc.
The second layer uses a filtering material which is the melt-blown fabric. It uses 25 GSM for normal, and it can use one layer or two layers. It can come with a different filtration rate of N95 or N99. In cases where gas filtration is to be done as well, activated carbon is added. It’s again cut into 170 to 175 mm for adult size.
The third layer is the white non-woven fabric that’s cut into 190 to 195 mm for adult size and has a density from 18 GSM to 25 GSM.
3 ply surgical masks are recommended for surgeries and sensitive operations. And now even to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.
The surgical mask’s three-ply layers work as follows:
- The outer layer repels water, blood, and other body fluids.
- The middle layer filters certain pathogens.
- The inner layer absorbs moisture and sweat from exhaled air.
There is, in fact, a blog at CDC which helps understand how good N95 3 ply surgical masks are – https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2020/03/16/n95-preparedness/.
Should we use a mask or not?
This has been the question on all of our minds in the last few weeks.
Previously, it was thought that those at risk of getting infected by Coronavirus had to wear them.
But with recent findings, the CDC is now recommending that we wear masks or cloth face coverings in public settings, as it is hard to practice social distancing properly in such cases.
And based on other recommendations from the CDC, it is a must to use these masks.
They are also showing how to make use of commonly accessible materials in home to make a homemade version of the masks.
But just to be on the safer side, we would recommend you do a bulk purchase of N95 or 3 ply surgical masks for the welfare of you and your loved ones.
But why is the CDC recommending face masks?
Well, based on the studies, it is an easy way to prevent the spread of the infection and for being safe.
Currently, coronavirus seems likely to spread even at a distance of 6m from infected people.
A cloth mask is an effective barrier for your hands to stop touching your nose and face. But it fails in doing justice on its efficiency towards preventing it.
Can wearing of face masks protect against contracting coronavirus?
They need to be disposed of after continuous use of 8 hours.
So for daily use and commute, we recommend incinerating these masks after use and to have enough stock with you for all your members.
The best way would be to do a bulk purchase and keep them at your place of convenience and quick access.
Who all need to wear a mask?
Everyone is recommended to use a mask. But here are the recommendations from the CDC on who need not wear a mask:
- Children under age 2
- Anyone who has trouble breathing
- Anyone unconscious, incapacitated or can’t remove a face mask without help
So anyone else who is not a child, who does not have breathing problems and is in good health needs to wear a mask as a protective measure.
How do you wear a 3 ply face mask?
Again, the CDC recommends keeping these criteria in mind when wearing a mask or face cover:
- It should be snug but comfortable against the sides of the face.
- It needs to be secured with ties or ear loops.
- It should be made with multiple layers of material.
- It must allow you to breathe without restriction.
- It should be able to withstand machine washing and drying and not get damaged or change shape.
In other words, you need to have the mask covering your entire nose and mouth snugly, without leaving any chance for the virus to enter.
How to keep the masks and face covers clean?
Store your masks stock in a clean & closed place, which is not exposed to the normal environment.
As a precaution wipe your masks with a clean cloth before starting to use them.
Do not reuse masks after prolonged use of even 6 to 8 hours.
Dispose of them.
Do you want to make your own cloth masks or face covers?
The CDC has recommendations on how to make your own cloth face coverings, wearing them and washing them here.
We do not recommend the usage of homemade cloth coverings.
Our only suggestion is to that we always need to prepare for the worst possible scenario to stay healthy.
And the worst scenario right now is knowingly or unknowingly having to spend time with a coronavirus infected person.
And hence, we have to make sure our safety is at the top and purchase 3 ply surgical masks or N95 masks in bulk. Contact us if you need them in bulk.
Is 3 ply mask, a surgical mask?
Yes, 3 ply masks are usually surgical masks with 3 layers as explained in the first question.
How do I identify a 3 ply mask?
If it is a 3–ply mask, logically, it would need to have 3 layers. Cut open the mask and you should see a very obvious 3-layers.
The 3 layers would typically consist of a
- Translucent piece (top),
- White piece (middle), and
- The coloured piece (Green, Blue, or even White)
And this question below is one of the most popular ones and has many variants as below:
How to properly use a 3 ply face mask? How to wear it correctly? How do you use N95 3 ply surgical masks?
Here is the answer to all the questions
- Step 1 is to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or rub your hands together thoroughly with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Step 2 is to check for defects in the mask, is it torn or broken.
- Step 3 is to position the coloured side of the mask outward from your face.
- Step 4: If there is a metallic strip then it has to be at the top of the mask and positioned against the bridge of your nose.
- If the mask has:
- Earloops: Place one loop over each ear.
- Ties: Tie the upper strings in a proper, secure bow near the crown of your head. Tie the bottom strings securely in a bow near the nape of your neck.
- Dual elastic bands: Pull the top band over your head and position it against the crown of your head. Pull the bottom band over your head and position it against the nape of your neck.
- Mould the bendable metallic upper strip to the shape of your nose by pinching and pressing down on it with your fingers.
- Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin.
- Check to see if the mask fits snugly else use another mask which does
- Don’t touch the mask after it is set in position.
- If the mask gets soiled or damp, replace it with a new one. Do not use a damp mask ever.
What are the common precautions to take while using 3 ply surgical maks or N95 masks?
Once you have put your mask in position correctly, you need to take certain precautions. Keep in mind to not transfer pathogens to your face or hands.
- touch the mask once it’s secured on your face
- dangle the mask from one ear
- hang the mask around your neck
- crisscross the ties
- reuse single-use masks
If you have to touch the face mask while you’re wearing it, wash your hands first.
Be sure to also wash your hands afterwards, or use hand sanitizer. You can buy hand sanitizers from us in bulk here – https://medical-ventilators.net/hand-sanitizer/.
How to remove and discard a surgical mask
It’s important to remove the face mask correctly to ensure you don’t transfer any germs to your hands or face while removing it.
You also want to make sure you discard the mask safely so that neither you nor others are affected by it or at risk of getting infected by the virus.
Steps to taking off a face mask
- Before you take off the mask, wash your hands well for over 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching the mask itself, as it could be contaminated. Hold it by the loops, ties, or bands only with the hands which are sanitized.
- Carefully remove the mask from your face once you:
- unhook both ear loops, or
- untie the bottom bow first, followed by the top one, or
- remove the bottom band first by lifting it over your head, then do the same with the top band
- Holding the mask loops, ties, or bands, discard the mask by placing it in a covered trash bin.
- After removing the mask, wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer.
What are some general good practices to limit infection?
The WHO recommends the following:
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
- Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol rushed Source if you don’t have access to soap and water. Our hand sanitizers are as per these guidelines.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, and eyes.
- Keep a safe distance from others. The CDC recommends at least 6 feet.
- Avoid public places until you recover fully if you are already suffering from the infection or any disease.
- Stay home as much as possible and rest