Are Bandana Face Coverings BFE Tested?
As new rules and regulations roll out state to state for Corona Virus citizens are getting creative when it comes down to protecting themselves. Some state officials have declared that they want to save certain PPE face masks like the 3M N95 for medical professionals. With face masks being reserved for medical professionals citizens have begun to use handkerchiefs and colorful bandanas for creative face protection. Though bandanas are a stylish way to prevent bacteria and particles we must ask, how effective are they really? In order to understand how effective these face coverings are we must unpack what BFE tested means.
So, what in the world is a BFE tested face mask? BFE stands for Bacterial Filtration Efficiency. This means that face mask like the now common 3 ply medical mask, KN95 and N95 are all tested for how effective they are at blocking bacteria and other harmful particles from entering your mouth/nose. The KN95 has a BFE efficiency of 95% meaning that it is tested to be 95% efficient in the prevention of bacteria. Hospital professionals and those first responders on the front line feel significantly more protected when they are equipped with the right tools for the job. This is why state governments have reserved these protective coverings at times for those on the front line who are most at risk from contracting Covid 19. This leaves us typical citizens to improvise wearing face coverings like bandanas. How effective are bandanas from preventing bacteria from entering the system.
Now that you understand what BFE tested means we must ask are face covering bandanas BFE tested. The simple answer is no. Bandanas will help block larger particles like dust from entering your mouth and nose but don’t really contribute much from keeping people safe from viruses like Covid 19. If you decide to use a bandana face covering try to chose one made from cotton. Researchers have discovered that viruses like Corona Virus live longer on synthetic materials like polyester and spandex. The tighter the weave the better, similar to what one would find on a high thread count pillow case. Also, if you do elect to wear a bandana face covering its also in your best interest to double up layers to help prevent harmful particles from entering your system. If you decide not to wear a bandana face covering what can you do? You can always elect the now common and medical professional favored 3-ply surgical/medical mask.
Typically 3-ply masks are inexpensive, easy to wear, and comfortable. 3-ply masks typically retail for about a dollar a piece and are BFE tested. If you want to take further precautions (recommended) go for brands that are FDA certified as well. There are plenty of brands and manufacturers releasing inventory that is not BFE and FDA certified. Regardless of what you chose to cover your face with just please make sure you and your loved ones are wearing a face covering bandana or a 3-ply mask when visiting a grocery store. It is also wise to wear protective gloves to help prevent the spread of germs.