Disposable face mask

How can you identify a good disposable mask?
First, you should make sure your mask has more than one layer, or that it’s woven with tight material. To figure out how tightly woven your mask is, you can conduct a candle test, says Suzanne Pham, MD, the Medical Director of the COVID-19 response team at Weiss Memorial Hospital. Wear your mask as you regularly would, and hold a candle about a foot away from you, and try to blow it out. “If it blows out, that means your masks is probably not doing as great of a job. If it doesn’t blow out very easily, then that probably means the fibers are quite tight and are trapping in particles well,” says Dr. Pham.

You can also do a quick test with your phone light. Shine your phone’s light through you mask and see how well you can see it on the other side. “If the light can be seen quite clearly that means that the fibers of your mask are not woven tightly enough,” says Dr. Pham. “So it’s not going to be able to trap the viral articles as you’re exhaling them compared to one where the light isn’t seen as well.”

The most important thing when it comes to a good disposable mask, though, is ensuring proper fit, says Dr. Pham. Your mask should fit properly above the nasal bridge and wrap under the chin. There should be no large gaps between the mask and your cheeks, adds Dr. Pham, and ideally, the mask should have a metal nose piece that allows you to shape the top of the mask around the bridge of your nose appropriately.

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