Wearing face masks has become necessary after the outbreak of coronavirus and many garment manufacturers have started producing masks to meet the current demand. Fabric mask is going to be more popular than a disposable mask because it has a fancy image on the verge of becoming a fashion item.
Using a good quality fabric mask provides a safe, environmentally friendly and affordable solution in the post-epidemic era. In addition to hand washing and social distance practice, fabric masks will take it as a necessary product for a long time.
But these mask must follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines emphasizing the need to set a standard and should be assessed by testing its bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE), particle filtration efficiency (PFE), fluid resistance, respiration and flammability.
There is a strong need for certification, testing and evaluation of fabric masks in the market to display a sense of insecurity about its protection. It is noteworthy that in the absence of this internationally recognized certification, fabric masks are often tested to meet specifications for professional use.
Additionally, many are unaware of the risk of wearing low quality fabric masks, as the protection it provides is often negligible.
On the other hand, disposable mask can prevent Covid-19 infection but improper disposal methods will affect the environment lead to a massive landfill waste.
Disposable masks used in hospitals, clinics and labs are considered medical waste, but the public will end up using them as common waste, which cannot safely prevent the risk of infection.
The worst thing is, masks are heavily contaminated with nasal or oral discharges, arbitrary disposal can pose a huge risk to society.
Therefore, it is important to establish proper performance standards and proper disposal arrangements for the benefit of all.