As NSW struggles with new Covid-19 cases and clusters continue to grow, a new face mask plea has been issued by the NSW Health. The Health Minister Brad Hazzard is advocating all residents in Greater Sydney – in particular the Northern Beaches - to wear a face mask to slow the transmission and reduce further spread of coronavirus.
Is an antimicrobial face mask a good alternative? We will discuss what this effective feature means - in particular the copper filter ones - in protecting you, your family and your community from exposure to pathogens. As it is a challenge to find a face mask that is both comfortable and protective, here are a few of our recommendations of facemasks with antimicrobial material and a built-in copper filter that you will actually wear.
Face masks have become the new normal in the fight against Covid-19. They are a critical tool to reduce viral transmission. When you wear a face mask, you not only help yourself, you also protect those around you.
Although there is limited data on exactly how effective face masks are, there is growing evidence that they block viral particles from entering the mouth and nose by up to 70%.
The Ministry of Health recommends that people wear face masks in public settings, like on public transport, at gatherings, shops, places of worship and anywhere around other people. Make sure to wear a face mask when caring for someone.
What type of face mask does the best job of protecting you and others?
The NSW and Victorian Health department recommend wearing a multi-layer mask: that can be either 3 layers of fabric or 2 layers of fabric combined with a filter. The ideal face mask blocks large respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes, along with smaller airborne particles – or aerosols – which are produced when people exhale or talk.
Tips when choosing a face mask
When selecting a face mask, make sure you choose a mask that either:
- Has multiple layers of woven fabric
- Or has an inner pocket for a filter
- Adheres to the face and completely covers your mouth nose and chin
- Is made from a washable and breathable fabric
- Sealed around the sides of your face and doesn’t have any gaps or holes that could allow droplets to leak out and potentially infect others
- Made with tightly woven fabric (that does not let light pass through when held up against the light)
Although wearing a facemask is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus, other measures such as physical distancing, washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using a hand sanitiser with at least 70% alcohol are very important too.
How do antimicrobial face masks work?
An antimicrobial is an agent that stops the growth of micro-organisms or kills them entirely. An antimicrobial face mask is made of material that helps lessen or even eliminate cross contamination of bacteria and viruses.
Face masks without antimicrobials don’t offer the same protection. If you put your hands on a ‘regular’ surgical face mask to adjust it, the virus might get on your hand and then later end up on your mouth or your eyes. An antimicrobial face mask reduces that risk as they prevent the growth of viruses and bacteria on the surface of the fabric.
Another benefit is when you sneeze or cough into an antimicrobial face mask, positively charged ions in the filter or even in the fabric will constrain bacteria on the surface of the mask.
What are the best antimicrobial face masks? The answer: copper filter masks.
Particularly popular among antimicrobial masks are copper filter masks, containing copper which helps kill bacteria and viruses that come in contact with the copper. This provides a real advantage when compared to particle-filtering masks made of just standard cotton or other fabric. Copper mesh is proven to destroy 99.99% of bacteria and viruses in minutes when they come in contact with the metal.
Copper ions rupture and penetrate the harmful pathogen’s wall and attack the DNA inside the microbe. Another benefit of copper ions is the self-sterilising properties, keeping your mask fresher for longer.
The antimicrobial properties of copper have been known for centuries in the medical field. According to a study published in March of this year in the New England Journal of Medicine, a viable amount of SARS-CoV-2 virus was neutralised within 4 hours when applied on a copper surface.
Buy the best antimicrobial Face masks
Washable Copper Filter Face Mask – Dr Hoffmann
Our Reusable Protective Copper Filter Face Mask layers breathable fabric to allow for good breathability along with good filtration. It is very effective at filtering the smallest particles while still being easy to breathe through. It is the great face mask that balances comfort and safety.
Special copper filter
The Dr Hoffman protective face mask is made with an electrostatic copper filter – very finely woven - that separates the contaminated particles from the air. It ensures enhanced protection from airborne contaminants and kills the harmful particles before they enter the lungs.
This Ding Filter, a special patented filter technology, has been manufactured to extremely high standards in Germany. The antimicrobial properties from the copper filter come from the copper ions that interact with the DNA of pathogens, preventing reproduction and limiting key enzymes. It provides protection from smoke, pollution, dust, viruses and bacteria. They are a step up from the designs you have been relying so far.
With a focus on breathability, this facemask uses a 2 layers super-soft fabric with a pocket for a copper filter insert. The lightweight fabric wicks away moisture and protects you in more ways than one. It comes with two copper filters to exchange after two weeks and separately more replacement filters are available for purchase. According to the German manufacturer, the reusable protective face mask should be washed every 7 days of use and replaced after 2 weeks.
The adjustable ear loops ensure a comfortable and tighter fit. It also has a seam along the chin to help stay in place. You don’t have to worry about it coming loose.
Copper filter face coverings repel droplets and are more breathable than surgical masks that trap humidity. They are reusable thanks to the fact you can clean the fabric and the filter.
You don’t have to rely on disposable face masks anymore!
Children Protective Face Mask
Just like the adult version, the Children Bacteria & Asthma Protective Face Mask by Dr Hoffmann is a good preventative face covering that filters out the bacteria or pathogen.
It incorporates the copper Ding Filter which is especially beneficial for asthma and allergy sufferers.
The facemask has earloops that can easily be adapted to a child’s face. It fits children from the age of 7 and older, covering the nose and mouth.
Regardless of what type of face mask you wear, you will have to take it on and off: to adjust, to eat, to drink etc. This makes the hand sanitiser a face mask’s best friend, so you always have clean hands to tighten the mask or pull it back down.
Our 1L antibacterial hand sanitiser gel is an Australian made 70% alcohol-based disinfectant hand rub that sterilises your hands of 99.99% of all micro-organisms. This antibacterial hand sanitiser complies with the Australian Department of Health Standards for maximum efficacy.
The hand sanitiser contains the nourishing lemon myrtle oil that moisturises your hands.
Perfect for use at the workplace, in café or restaurant, shops, aged care facilities, at check-out or at home.
Especially now Covid-19 clusters continue to grow on the Northern Beaches and NSW, there is no surprise about the increased need for face masks for the general public. They represent one of the main protection tools against the transmission of the coronavirus.
Based on the need for protection during these times, antimicrobial face masks are a more effective way to safeguard yourself and the people around you. One of the most popular options, are reusable copper filter face masks, a good sustainable alternative as they slow the spread of viral loads. Not only are they eco-friendly, the copper filter assists in reducing the risk of contamination.