Face masks have established their importance for the longest time. It is a simple barrier that helps inhibit respiratory droplets from entering the respiratory tract. Through this way, the spread of diseases is prevented. Protection is offered by face masks cover the nose and the mouth.
Wearing masks is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. The risk of contracting airborne and droplet diseases are significantly reduced. The risk of passing a disease to other people when an individual is asymptomatic is also reduced by wearing masks.
The quality of the face masks is significant in creating a barrier for the prevention of diseases. Counterfeit, substandard, and fake face masks have long been a problem because these face masks do not offer the same protection a real face mask does.
Face masks are commonly composed of three main layers. The first layer is composed of a non-woven fabric layer. The first layer is designed to be waterproof because it is meant to block the majority of the droplets. This is the outermost layer of the face mask.
The second or middle layer is also known as the melt-blown filter. This filter is made of plastics, typically polypropylene and polyethylene. This is designed in such a way that when some droplets are still able to pass the first layer, the second layer will be able to filter it efficiently. This layer blocks the particles from being inhaled into the respiratory system.
The third and innermost layer is also made of non-woven fabric. This is almost the same as the outermost layer but it is not waterproof.
Based on the specific layers of the mask, we can determine the difference between a fake mask and an authentic one by following several tests.
The first one is more of a tactile or touch test. When cutting the mask in half, the layers will be exposed. Upon touching the outermost layer, it generally feels sticky due to the electrostatic forces present. In fake masks, the first layer does not come off as sticky.
The second test is the burn test. Again, try cutting the face mask in half to expose its different layers. As mentioned earlier, the second layer is made of plastic materials. To test these ingredients, grab a lighter or a mask and light the second layer. A real mask does not produce any sparks. Also, the burned part does not spread throughout the whole mask. It just appears melted.
As for the fake mask, once it is burned, the fire spreads rapidly throughout the mask. Perhaps, other substances were thrown in the mix of ingredients instead of just plastic. Papers are commonly combined. Thus, this filter is not up to quality standards and does not do its job of filtration properly.
Another test to see if the mask is real or not is the breath test. In this test, no face mask will be cut and it is very easy to perform. Just wear the face mask you want to test and get a lighter. While wearing the face mask, open the lighter and try to blow the lighter off.
If you cannot extinguish the fire no matter how hard you try to blow it, it is a real mask. On the other hand, if you try to blow the fire off and it gets extinguished, the surgical mask is highly doubtful.
There may also be other clues present upon visual inspection of face masks. The material should not easily be ripped or torn apart like toilet paper. It must be strong and sturdy. There must be no dirt or soiled parts.
When checking out the authenticity of face masks, it is also important to purchase from trusted sellers and stores. Check for markings and registration in the boxes to ensure safety. Do not hesitate to be meticulous because face masks are essential and must meet the standards to provide protection.