Masks have to be worn in most shops, on public transport, in public spaces, and there are alternatives and you could choose between community masks (known as comfort masks) and cloth masks. But are they the same?
Faced with the lack of masks for the general public during “Lock-down”, Afnor has produced a reference and templates for the manufacturing of cloth masks, which can be reused after washing. The model first attracted seamstresses and individuals with sewing machines. Then companies started to manufacture them on a large scale. There are currently two categories, 1 and 2.
Category 2 filters out at least 70 per cent of the particles emitted by the wearer of the mask, while category 1 filters out at least 90 per cent. Afnor recommends wearing these cloth masks for a maximum of 4 hours and then washing them at 60°C. Between machine washings, they can also be washed by hand with hot water and soap. Some are only washable 5 times, others up to 50 times, without degrading their performance. This indication should be on the packaging, even if it is missing too often.
Community masks (conforts)
They are generally sold in boxes of 50 and meet national standards. They are worn for maximum of 4 hours and then thrown in the garbage, especially not in the street or in the toilet.
Our community masks filter at least 95 % of the particles and have a double advantages: they obviously filter the particles emitted by the wearer, but according to the INRS, the National Institute for Research and Safety in Occupational Health, these masks also protect …… The infectiologists also reminded that "the community mask makes it possible to filter both inhaled and exhaled air". This is a serious advantage over cloth masks
Since the beginning of deconfinement, masks have become a basic necessity. However, they are far from being affordable for everybody and will weigh heavily on household budgets. Finding them in pharmacies or supermarkets is still a struggle, prices are double the price, and assessing their quality is more complicated than expected.