Face masks part 2
Of course we should listen carefully to what the government and the RIVM (National Institute of Public Health and the Environment) prescribe. At the same time, it is good not to put your common sense aside and be well informed. That's exactly what we did and that's when we came to the conclusion (about 4 weeks ago) that it is wise to wear a mouth mask or the official phrase face mask.
In Asian countries such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, but also in China, it has been the norm for much longer to wear a mouth mask. Even if you have a 'normal' flu. Why do this? Because you don't want to bother someone else with it and you especially don't want to transmit it to someone else. It almost seems as if people are more considerate of each other there! In our society, individuality is highly valued, together with freedom. So the adjustment to consider each other as the most important 'pillar' is of course not easy.
On top of that, there is (still) a shortage of FFP (N95) certified protection equipment. Partly because of this, we think, the government and the RIVM 'National Institute of Public Health and the Environment' have told us that wearing a fabric mouth mask is of no use and provides false safety. And they are partly right, but to a large extent they are not. Let us explain:
It is true that incorrect use of a cotton mouth mask can be counterproductive. What is misuse? For example, touching the cap often, not washing it often enough, not storing it properly. It is not a toy and you should definitely not treat it carelessly! That is why we have written an extensive manual on how to handle it.
Here are the sources we draw from, which we used to develop our mouthpiece and also, most importantly, to read up on what works and what doesn't.
The article we read was this, https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-materials-make-diy-face-mask-virus/, some data borrowed from this study:https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/disaster-medicine-and-public-health-preparedness/article/testing-the-efficacy-of-homemade-masks-would-they-protect-in-an-influenza-pandemic/0921A05A69A9419C862FA2F35F819D55.
Then we started researching the right pattern for mouth masks, and arrived at the design we are using now. We can no longer trace it. The reason we chose this pattern is that it falls nicely over the nose and chin, and is 'pre-shaped' as it were. Many of the mouth caps that come along are based on the so-called surgical mouth caps, a pleated flat pattern, which is shaped by the folds. However, this does not ensure a good fit on the face. In our face masks, we use a strip of stainless steel that can be bent to the shape of your nose, which improves the fit on the face and prevents fogging of your glasses, for example.
We have also made sure that the mask consists of two layers of fabric, between which you can place an extra filter. In extreme cases, this can be kitchen paper, but even better is a HEPA (hoover) bag.
Below are some more recent articles (at the time of writing this blog), which mainly relate to this topic:
For the sake of balance, a bit of dissent as well:
Read up well
We are aware of the fact that a mouth mask can create a false sense of security, which, according to the RIVM, is the biggest pitfall. Therefore it is very important to do proper research and to read the manual carefully. Store the mask in a safe place after use and wash it as soon as possible.
Fraenck thinks we are doing the right thing and will continue to make these products. We make them because we think it can make a difference, see the policies of surrounding countries (Belgium, Germany etc.): https://www.rtlnieuws.nl/nieuws/nederland/artikel/5092986/mondkapjes-maskers-duitsland-belgie-corona-covid-19
Making your own face mask is certainly an option, but for those who don't have the time to do so, we offer them for €19.95, including shipping costs. For people who (demonstrably) need a mask because of work,
we offer them for €9.50. Due to high demand, we have had to adjust this offer to keep up with demand. We now apply a discount of 30%. We do ask a minimum of 2 orders to cover the shipping costs. It is also wise to have more, so you can switch between them. Mail us if you are interested in this offer.
Do you have any questions, comments or new insights? Please send us an e-mail. Our mouth masks can be found in our shop.