Wearing facemasks outdoors and indoors has been compulsory in many countries, including Singapore, amid the COVID-19 global pandemic. The facemasks help mitigate the spread of the virus by preventing people from inhaling infected respiratory droplets. There are two primary types of masks: disposable and reusable masks in Singapore.
Unlike your favourite black disposable mask in Singapore that you need to throw away right after use, a reusable face coverage is washable and can be used multiple times.
The rules and guidelines between the two masks are different as well. This article will guide you through the proper use of reusable masks in Singapore.
Differences And Similarities Between Disposable And Reusable Masks In Singapore
Health bodies and organisations allow people to use reusable face masks as an alternative, especially when there is a scarce supply of surgical mask boxes in Singapore online. But are reusable masks as effective as disposable masks?
Here are the differences and similarities between reusable and disposable masks:
Disposable masks, also called surgical masks, are made of non-woven fabrics made from polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyethene, or polyester. You can find a 4 or 3 ply surgical face mask in Singapore. It may have one or two layers of filters that can strain bacteria yet still provide excellent air permeability.
Reusable masks in Singapore, also known as cloth masks, use 100% cotton woven fabric, polytetrafluoroethylene filter, and cotton spandex woven fabric. The outer cotton fabrics are coated with water repellent cationic antiseptic coating.
This reusable mask can filter bacteria and viruses. However, low-grade reusable masks may use subpar materials.
Disposable masks from reputable manufacturers test their surgical masks before releasing them to the public. The tests include bacteria and particle filtration efficiency, breathing resistance, splash resistance, and flammability.
There are tons of surgical mask knockoffs in Singapore online, and the effectiveness of these fake masks pales to high-quality ones. Always check the manufacturer of your disposable masks and only buy from reputable stores and pharmacies.
Reusable cloth masks are efficient in filtering particles but not as effective for microscopic viruses and bacteria.
Generally, most reusable masks are not as effective as disposable masks. There can also be issues with the permeability of the mask.
Nevertheless, reusable masks in Singapore offer more protection against the COVID-19 virus than not wearing a mask.
A box containing 50 to 100 pieces of surgical masks can be expensive.
However, the environmental cost of each black disposable mask in Singapore can be detrimental. Disposable masks are made of plastics that are difficult to recycle. Additionally, recycling medical waste is dangerous, increasing the risk of infection and virus spread.
One high-grade reusable mask may have the same price as a box of surgical masks in Singapore online. In addition to the upfront price, the person spends on detergent and disinfectant for mask washing, which usually costs a little.
The environmental cost of reusable masks is much lower than disposable masks.
Now that you know the difference between disposable and reusable masks in Singapore, it is time to discuss the cloth mask guidelines.
Reusable Masks Guidelines
1. Select a high-grade reusable mask
Some people think a reusable cloth mask can be anything made of fabric. Many make their bandanas as their reusable mask, whilst others sew fabrics from old shirts to make a mask. But these do-it-yourself masks are not effective.
A high-grade mask is made of 100% cotton-woven fabric. This fabric filters particles and is permeable. Some have a nano-fibre micro-porous filter, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) nano-fibre membrane filter, or polypropylene non-woven films for filtration, depending on the manufacturer.
Some cloth masks have built-in filters, while others are replaceable. Choose reliable and high-quality reusable masks in Singapore for better protection.
2. Choose a size that fits you well.
Unlike the ordinary surgical mask in Singapore online, which have a few gaps on the sides where unfiltered air can easily pass through, many cloth masks are sewn to accommodate the face’s natural shape. There are no gaps on the cheek side and nose side of the masks. It is advisable to find this kind of reusable face mask.
Avoid buying a mask that is too big for you; otherwise, gaps and openings on the sides and chin area will compromise your protection. Make sure the mask covers your nose, mouth, and chin perfectly.
Moreover, avoid wearing tight cloth masks. Remember, cloth masks are not as breathable or permeable as surgical masks. The person may have difficulty breathing when wearing a tight cloth mask, forcing them to remove their masks more often.
3. Only touch the ear loops.
Never touch the frontal part or outer layer of your mask and the inner layer. Both sides harbour bacteria and viruses.
All infected respiratory droplets from the environment go to the frontal part of your mask as you suck in air. When you are sick, you cough and sneeze inside your mask. The inner part of your mask filters your infected respiratory droplets as you exhale, cough, or sneeze.
The safest part to touch on your reusable masks in Singapore is their ear loops or ear ties.
4. Remove your mask appropriately.
Before we discuss when and how to remove your reusable masks in Singapore, we should first determine where you should keep your masks on.
- Public outdoor spaces (parks, streets, etc.)
- Public indoor spaces (malls, shops, schools, offices)
- Transportation (inside a car, bus, train, and plane)
- Inside your home (if an occupant is sick or in isolation at your home)
You can remove your reusable masks in public spaces when you are eating, such as in a restaurant or cafe. Remove the mask off your face entirely. Never leave it on your chin or dangling from your ear.
Put it in plastic inside your bag. After eating, wear your mask and disinfect your hands.
Wash your masks
Wash your reusable masks in Singapore separately from other clothes after using them. You can use water and detergent for cleaning.
Keep yourself protected from viruses by using reusable masks in Singapore and follow this easy guideline.
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