Prior to Covid19 most PPE was used by Medical Professional. Most PPE was sourced from overseas. The worldwide spread caused an initial shortage in the United States. To answer the call, many US manufacturers’ (including Excelsior Marking) retooled to fill the gap. Currently, Americans are being encouraged to add Face Coverings to Social Distancing and Hygiene protocols. So “what’s the best covering?”. The honest answer – “it depends who you ask”. Here’s a brief summary of some of what we’ve found regarding non-medical Face Covers – Acrylic Shields (which cover eyes, nose, and mouth) and Cloth Masks (which cover nose and mouth). Both are viable options and may offer a barrier to the spread of airborne viruses. Nothing can offer complete protection, and both are meant to protect others.
Acrylic Face Shields
Generally made from clear, thin, acrylic with a band which fastens around the head. Shields should reach above the forehead, below the chin, and wrap partially around the side of the face. Face Shields are often worn by medical professionals to prevent fluids from getting to eyes, nose and mouth. Recently, Shields are being seen worn by the general public.One study* of their effectiveness reported a 96% reduced exposure of cough aerosols with a distance of 18”.
Shields do not replace the need for Social Distancing and good hygiene.
- Offers good airflow
- Reusable – Cleans easily
- Covers Eyes, Nose and Mouth
- Limits eye touching
- Less need for “adjustments” than with a Face Mask.
- Allows for better communication as the mouth is visible.
- Can be worn with eyewear – less fogging
Cloth Face Covers
Todays’ non- medical Face Masks are made from cloth. Generally, cotton or polyester blend. A mask is secured around your ears and will cover your nose and mouth. The CDC reports that used in conjunction with Social Distancing and good hygiene, a Mask may provide protection for those around you.
- Easily forms to the face
- Commonly available
- Reusable – wash/launder after each use.
- Widely accepted
Both Shields and Masks may provide virus protection. Which to choose depends on the situation and the wearer.
*published 6/24/2020 “Health Essentials form Cleveland Clinic”
Excelsior Marking has pivoted its operations to provide PPE during the Covid19 crisis. To learn more visit www.Excelsiormarking.com/safety-shop.