While we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 global pandemic, the importance of wearing a mask is a matter to be taken very seriously. Wearing a face mask when it is impossible to socially distance is essential to keep yourself and those around you safe.
Despite the wide array of information available about mask-wearing, misunderstandings remain a common occurrence due to a variety of online misinformation. Here are a few important facts about disposable masks to help distinguish fact from fiction.
Disposable masks aren’t biodegradable
One of the most important facts to know about disposable masks involves the future of our planet. A complex and tricky situation has been made known by this pandemic beyond its heavy health and financial impacts. Disposable masks are not traditionally produced for sustainability.
As these masks are typically made out of polypropylene, they are not recyclable and will join stacks of trash in the landfills for as long as the pandemic lasts. Wear a mask for sure, but think twice before you choose to wear a disposable one versus a reusable fabric mask. Disposable options are not the most protective for public use and should be left to those essential employees who work in healthcare during this difficult time.
Disposable masks shouldn’t be reused
With the above matter in mind, disposable masks should still not be reused for any purpose, even for the environment’s sake. Unlike the early days of the pandemic when face masks were scarce to find, plenty of cloth face masks are now available for purchase in America. Most personal protective equipment (PPE) has a label for one-time use. Disposable masks are a part of the classifiable PPE you should never reuse, as there exists to be no clear need or excuse for it at this time.
Consider investing in reusable cloth masks
If you have disposable masks on hand at the moment, keep in mind that these masks do not last forever. No one can guarantee that wearing a mask means you will not contract the virus or transmit it to someone else as well, but it creates the best-case scenario. Either way, it’s vital to continue to practice coronavirus prevention measures. Right now, and for as long as this pandemic endures, effectively wearing a face mask is the best way we can protect each other.
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