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A surgical mask, also known as a procedure mask, medical mask or simply as a face mask, is intended to be worn by health professionals during surgery and during nursing to catch the bacteria shed in liquid droplets and aerosols from the wearer''s mouth and nose. They are not designed to protect the wearer from inhaling airborne bacteria or virus particles and are less effective than respirators, such as N95 or FFP masks, which provide better protection due to their material, shape and tight seal.
Surgical masks are made of a nonwoven fabric created using a melt blowing process. They came into use in the 1960s and largely replaced cloth facemasks in developed countries. A shortage of surgical masks is a central issue of the ongoing 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.
Surgical masks are popularly worn by the general public all year round in East Asian countries like China, Japan and South Korea to reduce the chance of spreading airborne diseases to others, and to prevent the breathing in of airborne dust particles created by air pollution. Additionally, surgical masks have become a fashion statement, particularly in contemporary East Asian culture bolstered by its popularity in Japanese and Korean pop culture which have a big impact on East Asian youth culture.
3.1Health care workers
4Physical properties and quality
The design of the surgical masks depends on the mode; usually, the masks are three-ply (three layers). This three-ply material is made up of a melt-blown polymer, most commonly polypropylene, placed between non-woven fabric. The melt-blown material acts as the filter that stops microbes from entering or exiting the mask. Pleats are commonly used to allow the user to expand the mask such that it covers the area from the nose to the chin. The masks are secured to the head with ear loops, head ties, or elastic straps.
good hand hygiene.
More recently, due to the rising issue of smog in South and Southeast Asia, surgical masks and air filtering face masks are now frequently used in major cities in India, Nepal and Thailand when air quality deteriorates to toxic levels. Additionally, face masks are used in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore during the Southeast Asian haze season.
ParameterTypical unitPressure differential, ???Pcm of H2O / cm²Filtration and exposure%Liquid penetration resistancembarAir permeabilityml/s⋅cm² at 100 PaWater vapor permeabilityg/24 hr⋅cm²Water repellencygrade
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