The Collegiate Nursing Organization has recommended do not use cloth masks for more than four hours (continuous or intermittent) and advises not to buy those that do not hold less than five washes. They are two of the recommendationss that they make in an animated video with which they intend to teach the population how to choose the fabric mask that best protects against covid-19.
In the video, the College of Nursing recalls that cloth masks are not medical devices or personal protective equipment (PPE). “This means that these products are not recommended to be used in a sanitary environment and without keeping a safe distance from other people”, they point out.
Thus, they emphasize that the first thing to take into account to acquire a fabric mask is to analyze the Datasheet of the product, which must specify: that it meets the legislation UNE-EN 0065 (or the European counterpart -CWA17553-), that is, it has a filtration greater than or equal to 90 from the inside out, which is approved, tested and manufactured according to the standard.
In addition, in the product sheet you should find the recommendations of washed of the manufacturer and the number of washes it supports. They also highlight the importance of specifying filtration efficiency and breathability.
Taking into account compliance with manufacturing standards, the Collegiate Nursing Organization has classified them according to whether their use is recommended, those that could be used occasionally and those that do not recommend their use in any case. The recommended ones are those that are homologated, comply with the regulations and are tested.
Those that could be used occasionally are those that are homemade, but the materials authorized by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism have been used. “It is true that they are neither approved, nor tested and do not comply with the regulations, but they do have the appropriate materials to protect us,” they argue.
However, they insist that those that should not be used in any case are “the homemade ones that do not use the recommended materials or those that are sold in commercial establishments, but do not comply with the regulations.”
The president of the nurses, Florentino Pérez Raya, emphasizes that “it is not only important to know well the characteristics of the product so that it protects us”. “We must know how to use it correctly, never forget to make a correct hygiene of hands before and after handling it and knowing how to store them correctly so that they are not contaminated with external agents “, he points out.
Remember to wash them
In this sense, they recommend looking for reminder systems to remember to change them after approximately four hours of use and to know if it is time to wash or discard them. “An alarm on the cell phone or annotation in our personal agenda can be a good system to remind us that the usability time of our mask has already expired,” explains the president of the nurses. It is also important to keep track of washes and establish a reminder system for this aspect.
In addition, they propose a series of solutions to prevent contamination: keep them in breathable bags between use and use, carry two bags to keep dirty ones in one and clean ones in others, do not use cords without a cover to hang them and always handle them from the rubber bands or strips. The College of Nursing Organization also recommends the population to always wear a spare mask. “We can always get wet, break or lose”, adds Pérez Raya.