Food, water and shelter were the necessities for humankind, but the recent spread of pandemic has added personal protective equipment to the previously mentioned list. Face masks, face shields and isolation gowns have become a part of our daily attire to protect us from the germs around us. There usually arises a doubt among the people whether these PPE products can be reused or not, and if they are reusable, how many uses are possible. So here we bring clarification to your doubts on the reuse of personal protective equipment.
TYPES OF PPE PRODUCTS
There are broadly two types of PPE products available based on usability: disposable products and reusable ones.
1.DISPOSABLE PPE PRODUCTS
Disposable products should be discarded after a single use and do not use again as their effectiveness reduces considerably. You might think that why not re-use a disposable mask or gown after washing it? We would say never re-use them even after washing as the product loses its effectiveness after a single-use. When you re-use a disposable facemask or isolation gown, you do not protect yourself from the germs but, in turn, invite contamination and infection.
2.RE-USABLE PPE PRODUCTS
Re-usable products can be re-used but only for a limited time as specified by the manufacturers. However, the masks must be re-used by the same person only and not be shared with others. Sharing of face masks is indeed spreading contamination and infection. Here are a few details about the products that are reusable and how often you can use them.
3PLY FACE MASKS
If the 3ply face masks or surgical masks are used by healthcare workers or people in an area of high risk of infection, it is advisable to dispose of the face mask after a single use. If you wear these face masks for your regular use while shopping or when around a few people, you can re-use the face mask for up to three days but not more than that. While removing your face mask for having food or drinks, do not keep hanging the mask around your wrist or place it in your purse. Instead, store the face mask in a breathable paper bag or a hygienic container for re-use.
N95 respirators are the most effective face masks offering a filtration efficiency of 95% and providing two-way protection i.e. it filters both the incoming and outgoing air. These face masks are a little expensive but provide good safety against coronavirus. You can re-use these face masks five times or as mentioned by the manufacturer. However, make sure that you place the mask in a clean and hygienic area to avoid contamination or store them in breathable paper bags in between the uses. Dispose of the mask when it gets wet or contaminated or torn.
Isolation gowns made of thick and good fabric can be re-used after laundry. Remove the gown while wearing hand gloves or after washing/sanitizing your hands. Hang the gown in an open area such that it does not come in contact with other clothes or people. Wash it, dry it and then re-use it. However, d not re-use more times than that recommended by the manufacturer.
Though you re-use or dispose of personal protective equipment, make sure you wash/sanitize your hands before and after the removal. Do not throw the PPE products randomly here and there, instead store them in a breathable container or a hygienic place for later use. Even if you’re not going to re-use it, discard it hygienically in the dustbin such that it does not come in contact with others. To buy god quality N95 face masks, 3ply face masks, isolation gowns and bouffant caps, visit our store, PPE Zones, the leading PPE supplier in California, USA. We provide safe doorstep delivery and offer huge discounts as well.