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Face mask – protect yourself and others

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading through our society at an unsettling speed. Both at home and abroad. The pandemic has gathered renewed force, but luckily we have the means and the methods that are best suited for protecting both ourselves and others.

Our Safe2Breathe disposable face mask (sometimes referred to as a face covering or a surgical face mask) provides the user with effective protection against both bacteria and viruses. What’s more, it also allows you to do your part in helping arrest the spread of infection.

Face masks from Safe2Breathe are CE-marked, tested and approved by the Danish health authorities. You are therefore guaranteed a high-quality product. Protection that you and those around you can trust.

Reasons to wear a face mask

The primary reason for wearing a face mask is first and foremost to protect others from infection. What makes COVID-19 so nefarious is that a large number of infected people carry and spread the virus without ever experiencing serious symptoms. This means we can pass the virus on to others and infect them with the disease without knowing it. 

Wearing a face mask is therefore a sensible safety precaution and an effective way to help contain the virus and prevent it from spreading to other people – not least the most vulnerable members of our society such as older citizens and the chronically ill.

Moreover, experience from the current coronavirus pandemic also suggests that face masks offer protection against infection to the wearer as well. Type IIR face masks protect the wearer with a filtration efficiency of ≥ 98%.

The proper use of face masks is a good supplement to other measures aimed at preventing the spread of infection. On the recommendation of health authorities and as a part of their efforts to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, Danish lawmakers have made the use of face masks compulsory within a wide range of different public spaces. These include public transport, hospitals, shops, nursing homes and educational institutions, in addition to other settings as well.  

The recommendations of the Danish health authorities regarding the use of face masks are in line with those of numerous international organisations including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control (ECDC).  

Read more about where the use of face masks is obligatory on the Danish Health Authority’s website.

 

Remember these six recommendations

Face masks prevent bacteria and viruses from infiltrating our airways and making us sick - however, not even the most effective of face masks can prevent the spread of COVID-19 entirely on their own. It is therefore important that when wearing a face mask you continue to follow all of the other general recommendations to prevent the spread of infection:

  • Stay home and self-isolate if you have symptoms, test positive or come into close contact with an infected person
  • Wash your hands regularly or use hand disinfectant
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve
  • Avoid shaking hands, kissing cheeks and hugging
  • Sanitise often – both at home and at work
  • Keep your distance from others

 

High quality, CE-marked face mask

Face masks from Safe2Breathe are classified as medical devices. This means that our face masks fulfil a number of technical requirements established by health authorities. Our face masks are continuously tested and reviewed in order to ensure compliance with current legislation on medical devices including requirements on the security and performance of the face mask in terms of its ability to filter out airborne bacteria and viruses.

Our face masks are commercially produced in factories and CE-marked (EN14683:2019 + AC:2019). This marking and approval is your guarantee that our face masks are of the highest quality.

Disposable face masks of medical/surgical quality are principally divided into three different types: I, III and IIR. The type designations primarily indicate how effective the face mask is at filtering out bacteria and viruses.

The face masks we produce are Type IIR face masks of medical quality which is the type of face mask recommended by the Danish health authorities for use by healthcare personnel in healthcare, social care and nursing home settings.

The face mask has a three-ply filter. Independent tests show that these face masks filter over 98 percent of all bacteria from the surrounding air which is breathed in and out by the user.


The Danish Medicines Agency is the body responsible for medical devices in Denmark. This includes Type IIR face masks such as the ones produced and manufactured by Safe2Breathe.

 

Tested filtration performance

Disposable face masks of the type produced by Safe2Breath are known as so-called surgical face masks and are regularly used in the healthcare sector - for example, during surgical interventions at hospitals.

Medical and surgical face masks are produced in line with carefully established industry standards which ensure the desired effect and functionality.

Surgical face masks – or disposable medical face masks – are divided into three different types: I, III and IIR. Compliance with industry standards means guaranteed documentation for both filtration efficiency and breathability.

Type I face masks have a filtration efficiency of at least 95 percent while Type II face masks have a filtration efficiency of at least 98 percent.

The face masks produced by Safe2Breathe are approved as Type IIR which have the highest level of filtration efficiency and are also designed to withstand liquid splashes which can lead to impaired breathability in other face mask types. Our face masks thus also comply with the strictest requirements on ease of breathability for the wearer when in use

Buy 50x CE-marked Type IIR face masks here.

 

Sold in packs of ten

Type IIR face masks from Safe2Breathe are sold in sealed original packaging with ten face masks in each pack. CE-marking and information on how to use the face masks correctly can be found on the packaging. We therefore comply with the Danish Medicines Agency’s requirements for medical devices which include packaging, labelling and user instructions as a part of the medical device subject to requirements.

Type IIR face masks from Safe2Breathe are suitable for use in all contexts and settings where the government now requires the mandatory use of face masks. These include:

  • When travelling by public transport - for example, on an aeroplane, train, bus, ferry or in a taxi.
  • In supermarkets, shopping centres and retail stores.
  • When visiting restaurants, bars and cafés.
  • In schools, universities and other educational institutions.
  • At your GP’s surgery or in the hospital.
  • In nursing homes or healthcare facilities for the elderly.
  • When visiting museums and other cultural institutions.
  • When travelling abroad to countries which have stricter face mask requirements than we have in Denmark.

Considering the current situation, we recommend that you always carry a face mask and hand disinfectant on your person, in part so that you can move around as freely as possible under the current circumstances and also in order to protect yourself and others against the risk of infection and disease. face mask and hand disinfectant on your person, in part so that you can move around as freely as possible under the current circumstances and also in order to protect yourself and others against the risk of infection and disease.

How to use disposable face masks correctly.

Disposable face masks from Safe2Breathe have been manufactured, tested and approved for single use only.

When reusing a disposable face mask, there is no guarantee that it will continue to work as intended or that it will continue to comply with the requirements to which it was manufactured, tested and approved.

If the face mask has only been used once and for a short time – e.g. during a quick visit to the supermarket, when taking a short bus journey, etc. – it can be reused. However, it is important that you store the face mask securely whenever it is not in use. This might be storing it in a plastic bag, for example.

In order to best protect yourself and others from bacteria and the novel coronavirus, it is important that you do not reuse a disposable face mask repeatedly. The general rule of thumb is that, provided you handle and store your disposable face mask correctly, you can use it over a total period of around four hours. You should then change your face mask to protect others and to ensure that you are adequately protected against bacteria, particles and viruses.

Disposable face masks must be disposed of after use and cannot be washed as soap and water may impair filtration efficiency and breathability

In order to get maximum benefit from your face mask, it is also important that you put on and wear your face mask in the manner described by the health authorities.

Follow these steps:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or hand disinfectant , before touching the face mask.
  • Hold the face mask by the elastic cords – place one sling around each of your ears.
  • Pull the bottom of the face mask down over your mouth and chin.
  • Shape or squeeze the stiff edge of the face mask tightly around your nose.
  • After use, dispose of the face mask as general household waste.  
  • Wash your hands again with soap and water or hand disinfectant.l 

Do face masks make a difference?

Before coronavirus arrived in Denmark, the majority of us were familiar with medical disposable face masks primarily from hospital settings where we would see surgeons, anaesthesiologists and nurses wearing face masks during operations so as not to risk transmitting microorganisms to the patient.

Now our general situation is somewhat different, and it has become a requirement for all of us to wear face masks in many day-to-day situations.

In connection with this, some media outlets have asked for documentation which demonstrates the effectiveness of using face masks. In response, the Danish Health Authority has published a report entitled . "The Use of Face Masks in Public Settings – Documentation and Professional Health Recommendations".

Among other things, this report quotes an article from the renowned medical journal The Lancet. The authors behind this article looked specifically at the use of disposable face masks in connection with the risk of transmitting COVID-19 or other viral diseases of a similar type (SARS/MERS). The authors concluded on the basis of 29 studies that "the use of face masks or other respirators was associated with a considerably reduced risk of becoming infected."  

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control (ECDC) also recommend the use of face masks as a supplement to other protective measures in situations where it is not possible to practise social distancing and, in the case of the ECDC, in situations where there is widespread or growing community transmission.

Different types of face masks

In addition to medical and surgical face masks which are produced in accordance with industry standards and subjected to testing, labelling and regulatory approval, consumers will also find so-called fabric face masks available on the market.

These are typically produced from textiles, paper or cellulose.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) does not recommend the use of fabric face masks in settings where the face mask is intended to protect the wearer against infection from their surroundings.

Fabric face masks do not normally comply with the industry standards which apply to disposable medical and surgical face masks. For the same reason, fabric face masks are not sold or marketed in Denmark as personal protective equipment or as medical face masks.

On its website, the Danish Health Authority writes that they are currently working to develop a quality label for fabric face masks in order to provide citizens with guidance when selecting a mask.

In the same statement, they write that: "persons who are at an increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19, relatives who wear face masks to protect others who are at an increased risk and persons who are confirmed or suspected to be infected with coronavirus should, as an extra precaution, refrain from using fabric face masks which lack documentation for their quality and filtration efficiency."

Common mistakes when wearing face masks

According to the health authorities, the use of face masks is a good supplement to other measures aimed at preventing the spread of infection. There are many benefits to wearing a face mask, provided that we also follow the health authorities’ other requirements and recommendations – particularly with regards to hand hygiene and social distancing.

However, users can sometimes make mistakes which reduce the effectiveness of the face mask or restrict the degree to which it can reduce the spread of infection. The most common mistakes are:

  • Improper handling which results in an increased risk of contact infection. This is typically when we touch the mask itself or forget to wash or disinfect our hands before putting the face mask on.
  • Improper use of the face mask which increases the risk of poor filtration efficiency and impaired effect. This typically occurs whenever we fail to change face masks frequently or whenever the face mask becomes wet or contaminated.
  • Poor compliance with other measures that are designed to prevent the spread of infection. This typically occurs when wearing a face mask gives us a false sense of security that leads us to let up on other measures such as good hand hygiene and social distancing.