Choosing a mask for your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs is a top priority, especially if you work in a high-risk environment. Although some medical environments need N95 masks, many settings only need a 3-ply mask.
3-ply masks, also known as surgical masks, are a top contender among nose and mouth covering options because they provide a high level of protection while still maintaining your comfort. They provide better protection than cloth masks and gaiters, especially when it comes to small airborne particles. Here are the top three reasons why you should consider a 3-ply mask for your PPE needs.
Filtering Airborne Particles
Cloth face masks help contain your coughs and sneezes, but their fabric is usually porous enough to still allow some airborne pathogens through. This makes them adequate for abiding by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for face coverings in some situations, but they only offer a minimal layer of protection.
3-ply face masks have a middle layer and outer layer that provides additional filtering of small airborne particles. Having three filtering layers makes them a top protector, especially in situations where N95 and KN95 masks are not available or are not practical.
3-ply masks with thin adjustable nose clips work even better, as they can form a tighter seal around your nose. As long as the ear loops on your mask are properly sized, they can provide good filtration.
Shielding Against Liquids
In addition to helping filter out airborne particles, 3-ply masks provide a barrier against liquids and dust. This makes them an absolute necessity in many medical environments, especially when conducting surgeries or drawing arterial blood.
Disposable face masks such as 3-ply masks make a great choice for art projects, messy science experiments, and more. Face shields also work well for this purpose, but face shields fit more loosely around your face and do not provide as much protection on the lower half of your face.
Protecting Others Around You
Protecting yourself is only part of 3-ply masks’ abilities. Surgical masks were originally designed to keep surgeons and other healthcare professionals from expelling their own germs onto patients during surgeries and other sensitive procedures.
3-ply masks have since become a proven option for anyone wanting to protect others from their germs, especially if they are coughing and sneezing. They are especially popular for everyday use in East Asian countries, where people with cold symptoms or even seasonal allergies usually wear a mask in public out of consideration for others. They are great for working or living in close environments while you are feeling under the weather.
Sourcing the Right Masks
Getting protection from 3-ply masks requires washing your hands and avoiding touching your face during use. Unlike cloth masks, 3-ply masks shouldn’t be washed and should be disposed of after use. Without proper mask usage, your mask could just transfer airborne bacteria and viruses to your face or hands.
However, the quality of your masks also matters just as much as your mask wearing practices. Getting 3-ply masks that are up to modern healthcare standards requires working with a trusted distributor who can get you masks even when they’re in short supply.
ICU Production Inc. provides a wide variety of PPE for organizations, including healthcare facilities, schools, and much more. We have high-quality gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and other essentials for keeping your team and customers safe. Contact our PPE hotline at (323) 970-2532 to talk to a team member about what we can do for you.