Covid-19: Face masks are ineffective?

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

No way! Once again - in the middle of the corona crisis - we find ourselves in the topic: When will science also become an ideology? Pure logic says: Every barrier is better than none! What is to be considered? Fine droplets hang in the air for a long time, especially in humid weather. And viruses and particles get stuck in the paper or fabric of a simple mask. When breathing intensively, they can even be sucked in. Easier through the mouth than through the nose. This should be prevented. That's why hard masks with filter (FFP2/FFP3) are the most effective, but not available to everyone. As an research and innovation agency we see ourselves as contributors to facts and constant community learners. That is the reason behind we share knowledge here and also got our first product to sell right on easter time: a FFP2 face mask in a fairly good quality.

Respiratory masks are suitable for personal respiratory protection against aerosols of solid and liquid particles (bacteria, viruses, parasites, dust, smoke, mist). We distinguish three efficiency classes:

- FFP1: Low efficiency - for protection against fine solid aerosols (mineral dust, organic (animal and plant) and synthetic (dust)

- FFP2: Medium efficiency - for protection against fine solid aerosols, smoke and mist and inorganic and organic substances (including soot, welding smoke, oil mist).

- FFP3 High efficiency - to protect against fine solid aerosols, mist and smoke (including carcinogenic and radioactive aerosols and microorganisms. Although FFP3 respirators are highly efficient, breathing is against massive resistance and is hardly compatible with long days of wearing comfort.

The most simple info graph we've found originates from a very non-scientific newspaper in Switzerland, BLICK. Unfortunately it's in German. But we hope you somehow translate and understand:

Picture Source:

Here some more useful hints about wearing face masks:

1. You should now generally get into the habit of wearing masks. This is because one wants to protect others from oneself and also because it reduces the harmful mistrust in society, respectively creates distance and thus trust.

2. Change paper masks often and wash masks made from fabrics daily

3. One should fold self-made masks while sewing, i.e. fold several layers. You can also use old kitchen towels or fabric remnants. You have to find a reasonable measure yourself, which is tolerable for comfortable breathing and which rather leads to the fact that the fabric and thus the particles, droplets and viruses are absorbed. E.g. A dressmaker sewed vacuum cleaner filters between two layers of fabric.

4. wash hands with soap for 30 seconds before putting on and taking off. If possible, do not reach into the face and do not touch the eyes or mouth, especially when wearing a mask.

5. you can use your imagination when producing masks! For example, according to the colour of the clothes. We do not go out so often these days. So you can also mask yourself a little bit nicely, please, and make your surroundings happy with it! Let's look forward to the most original masks and novel designs.

Further vital knowledge about face masks to share:

Information on correct application of face masks: 1. Buy high quality face masks and remove from its plastic packaging. Unfold the mask and pull the two straps in opposite directions. 2. ensure that the mask is free of defects. Check your mask for damage (see the pre-use inspection and limitations section for more information). Place your mask in your hand with the opening facing up and the nose area facing forward. 3. pull the strap closer to you over your head and under your ears. Now pull the upper strap over your head. It should sit above the ears.

4. press the mask around your nose and chin. As you breathe in deeply, the (filter) material will move, provided the mask is seated correctly. 5. If the mask does not fit snugly, remove the mask and reduce the length of the straps. Do this by tying an extra knot or wrapping an elastic braid around the closure. Storage, care and disposal:

Store in the manufacturer's individual packaging, sealed. Avoid direct sunlight, contact with organic solvents, vapours and oils. The warranty period for storage in the manufacturer's packaging is usually 3 years from the date of manufacture. Used respiratory masks must be disposed of in accordance with the applicable hygiene regulations.

Testing before use and restrictions in use: Check the expiration date before using the respirator. Also visually inspect your mask for defects. Damaged or expired respirators cannot be used. Breathing masks should not be used in atmospheres with a lack of oxygen (up to 17% vol.). Respiratory masks cannot be used by users with facial hair, or users who have hair on their face (sideburns, moustache, beard) because of the loose fit that results.

Stay safe yourself and others! Medical clinics / private practices in Switzerland in need of FFP2 masks, call us: +41 79 695 44 56.