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Uses of Disposable Face Masks

7/5/2013 2:06:46 PM | by Anonymous

Disposable Face Masks

Disposable face masks are devices used to cover the mouth and nose. They serve as a barrier for contaminants from getting released from the mouth of a sick person and spread to the environment or to be inhaled by people in the public. Wearing disposable face masks is usually regarded as a health practice encouraged to people with illness to prevent the spread of disease. They are considered to be effective when the infected person wearing it would not have direct contact to people around him. The case is different with healthcare workers who are vulnerable to be infected as they are frequently exposed to diseases. People with medical conditions such as emphysema or asthma are advised to consult with a physician before wearing a mask as it might worsen their breathing condition.


Disposable face masks are also referred to as surgical, isolation, laser, dental or medical procedure masks. They come in various thicknesses and this feature could affect how easily a person can breathe while wearing the mask. Other properties such as the ability of the mask to impenetrate liquid could determine how it can effectively protect a person. Disposable face masks can prevent the saliva of the wearer from being scattered and block large particles if worn properly. A loosely worn face mask can not provide complete protection as it would not be able to filter tiny particles. Disposable face masks are not intended to be used for a long time. They should be replaced with a new one when soiled or damaged as well as if breathing through the face mask becomes uneasy. The discarded mask can still spread infection so they should be disposed off properly by keeping it inside a well tight plastic bag before throwing it in the waste disposal bin. In hospital setting, surgical face mask are worn by nurses and surgeons who are about to perform clean surgery to prevent them passing germs from their mouths and noses into patients’ wounds. This practice will be able to reduce post operative wound infection.


Another important function of disposable face mask is filtering out contaminated particles or smoke in the surroundings from entering the nose and mouth. This type of face mask has different features suitable for various purposes. There are masks intended for normal everyday use and other types appropriate to use during hazardous conditions. Simple face masks can be purchased in drug stores. They give limited uses as they do not tightly seal over the face. This is especially true to people who have beards or large piercing that prevent the mask from sealing the face entirely. Simple disposable face masks are suitable to use in areas where the level of dust and some illness related airborne particles is low. When air quality reaches a hazardous range, N95 mask or other particulate filtering facepiece respirators are more suitable to use. N95 is known to be at least 95% efficient in filtering fine airborne particles. It is recommended to be used by people who are outdoors and will undertake long exposure to unhealthy air.


Work that involves the use of material that can pose danger to the worker’s health are required to use masks. An example of this is in painting of structures and automobiles. The paint is made from hazardous chemicals that when constantly inhaled can affect the body and cause serious illness. The use of disposable face masks can effectively prevent people from inhaling vapors from paint sprays.

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