when do face masks expire

The year 2020 has been full of challenges! Few people at the beginning of the year would have guessed that the wearing of face masks while performing everyday tasks would become normal and in many places enforceable by law. However, face coverings have become encouraged and mandated in many areas, and a variety of different styles and designs can be seen among the population. But, what do we really know about how effective face masks are?

There are so many different variations of face coverings that many are asking themselves what is the most effective, comfortable, and practical choice to invest in. In this article, we will talk about the shelf life and efficacy of disposable antiviral face masks and washable cloth masks, and what causes these masks to lose their protection over time. We’ll discuss some of the better investment choices for those looking to buy a long-lasting and highly protective antiviral face mask, and why the price of copper ion is skyrocketing in value!

 

do disposable face masks expire

Why Do Disposable Face Masks Expire? What Causes Antiviral Face Masks To Expire?

The most commonly used face masks are the ones used by the medical community, which are easily found in most drug stores or medical supply stores. These blue and white masks are very clearly labeled as “disposable,” and it’s easy to see why. In fact, it’s even easy to feel why: I’m sure many readers can relate to the itchy sensation these types of masks can provide.

When you think about it, it’s easy to see why these types of face masks are so uncomfortable, thin, and don’t last very long. They were originally developed for medical professionals performing surgery, which lasts 2-3 hrs on average. These types of disposable medical face masks truly weren’t designed to be worn for 8 hrs on a work shift, or when doing a grueling session at the gym.

The thin, fibrous material of the surgeon’s face mask will quickly deteriorate over time. The medical face mask will become even more fragile when run through a washing machine or when cleaned by hand. Furthermore, the chemicals used for washing the mask can seep into the polypropylene fabric, which can be harmful if inhaled. This is why these types of masks are strictly disposable and should not be washed or disinfected in any way.

 

shelf life on antiviral face masks

What Is The Shelf Life Of Antiviral Face Masks?

Medical disposable face masks should be thrown in the trash after a single-use, which is not only wasteful, expensive, and bad for the environment, but could also contribute to a rise in coronavirus cases. For every person worldwide to use a disposable face mask and throw it into the trash at the end of every day will lead to a huge increase in the amount of trash in landfills. It will also contribute to air pollution as factories rush to produce disposable face masks as quickly as possible to meet the demand.

It’s become sadly common for people to simply dispose of their face mask by stripping it off and throwing it in a parking lot or on the ground before entering their car. This is because people are rightly afraid of the mask becoming saturated with air that is infected with the coronavirus or from the bacteria on their hands that may be transferred to the mask after removing it. Unfortunately, these litterbugs could be putting others at risk, specifically the staff whose responsibility it is to clean litter and also garbage collectors.

 

longest lasting and most effective face mask to use

What Are The Longest-lasting and Most Effective Face Mask To Use?

At this point of the year, most people likely have a wide array of face masks at their home. Some may have been bought online whereas others may have been given to you by your place of work, your local gym, or a shopkeeper. However, many of the cheap face masks being handed out are done simply to comply with local laws regarding stopping the spread of coronavirus and without much thought to their efficacy. If you are truly interested in a face mask that will last a long time and provide the highest level of protection from all types of bacteria and viruses, a copper iron face mask such as the one offered by Spectral Body is a prime choice.

Copper is a metal that has been known since ancient times to have incredibly powerful antiviral properties. In fact, viruses and bacteria that touch copper are killed within seconds at an efficacy rate of 99.99%. For this reason, many women use intrauterine devices made of copper as a natural spermicide and to avoid using hormone-based birth control. There are a lot of different uses for copper in modern times, especially considering new technology that allows copper to be interwoven with the fabric without losing effectiveness.

We’ve all been taught about the dangers of fiddling with our face mask, but touching your face covering is almost inevitable. First of all, many of us are so unaccustomed to wearing a face mask that it takes a lot of adjusting to keep it from slipping under your nose (a cardinal sin for the coronavirus vigilantes among us). Secondly, everyone has a different head shape, ear shape, and nose size, and it’s not like these face masks come in sizes like pants. Lastly, the face masks we use are the barriers that protect our respiratory system from the potential infectious air around us, so presumably, they are soaking up a lot of the viral particles themselves. So, it’s safe to assume that when we take these masks off at the end of the day, we could be transferring viral particles to our hands, clothes, floor, or trash cans where they can continue their life cycle.

The beautiful and amazing thing about the copper ion face mask is that the fabric itself is enmeshed with copper, which has the power to kill viruses and bacteria on contact. That means you can fiddle with your face mask to your heart’s delight without worrying or feeling guilty! It also drastically cuts down on the chances that you’re walking around with a face mask soaked with coronavirus viral particles, whether they were received from a passerby or from your own breath, assuming you are an unassuming positive and asymptomatic case.

As cool as The Mandalorian might look in his beskar headset, none of us wants to walk around with metal around our face. In fact, it might bring back flashbacks of middle school which can be more dangerous to your health than catching the coronavirus! Fortunately, the copper ion masks from Spectral Body come in sleek black or white colors that are virtually indistinguishable from regular face masks. The masks also come with easy to use adjustable straps for the pumpkin-headed and peanut-headed alike.

 

when do face masks expire

Here’s the best thing about the copper ion face masks, though: they can be washed dozens of times and still retain total efficacy. It’s hard to see why you would want to, though: since copper kills 99.99% of all bacteria and viruses (many of which can last on surfaces for up to 5 days) they don’t exactly need disinfecting. Nevertheless, many copper ion mask owners like to wash their masks, especially if they wear makeup or if sweat is transferred onto the fabric.

To recap, here are the top benefits of copper ion masks:

  • 99% effective against viruses and bacteria
  • Disinfects on contact within seconds
  • Fully machine washable and reusable
  • Fabric infused with copper in a sleek design
  • Adjustable, sturdy ear loops
  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • Completely breathable and suitable for long-term use

 

How Long Will My Washable Cloth Face Mask Last?

But what about your washable cloth face mask? These can be washed and reused, although they do not have the antiviral properties of a face mask infused with copper like the copper ion mask. However, cloth face masks rank on the lowest scale in terms of protection against coronavirus and other viruses and bacteria.

In fact, this nifty guide to the effectiveness of different types of common face masks reveals that the thin, paper-like surgeon’s masks are more effective than a face mask you make from home or purchase at a store. The top pick is N95 respirators, which are expensive, limited in supply, and not recommended for your average wearer to reserve supply for front-line workers. Furthermore, the respirators are clunky, unsightly, and uncomfortable. Due to their relative newness, copper ion masks were not even included on the list, although it’s likely they would score close to N95 levels of protection (when taking into account viral particles and bacteria only, not thick dust or other industrial pollutants, which N95 respirators were originally designed for). After all, it’s hard to beat 99.99% effectiveness in killing viruses and germs on contact.

 

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a face mask that is long-lasting, effective, reusable, better for the environment, stylish, adjustable, and breathable, look no further than the copper ion face mask. Due to the antiviral power of copper and the faltering value of the dollar, copper has continued to rise in value to the point where the copper in a penny is worth more than the penny itself. Although the copper ion mask may be slightly more expensive than a disposable mask or a washable face mask, they are much cheaper when you take into account how long they can be washed and reused without losing efficacy. Also, it’s hard to put a price on your health. Whether it’s for yourself, or to show someone that you really care by gifting them a highly effective, quality face mask for the holidays, it’s clear that a copper ion face mask is the best choice.

 

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Carlo is a rising star in the fitness and health industry. He has collaborated with many athleisure / activewear start-up brands and has a passion for trending fitness-related technology.