Shopping for face masks with antimicrobial properties? Copper masks became popular during this pandemic since many think it’s more effective and safer than the other variants. But can this type of mask really protect you from COVID-19?
Makati Medical Center does not approve copper masks as protection
Recently, a medical doctor named Angelo Lozada posted an advisory from Makati Medical Center. It shows an advisory from the hospital of what kind of masks and face shields that visitors, staff, and patients must wear. Surprisingly, the management prohibits the use of a copper mask inside.
Many netizens reacted to this announcement. They find it confusing because MMC allows the usage of cloth masks but the hospital won’t let them use copper masks. Doctor Angelo Lozada answered a direct inquiry from a netizen asking the same thing. He said, “The copper masks have that ‘hole’ at the bottom chin area. I’m presuming it’s because of that.”
Are copper masks effective against COVID-19?
Previously, we have an article about ditching valve masks because they are unsafe. The reason is, these are for industrial use only and it lacks two-way protection. How about copper masks?
According to NBC News, people mainly spread the deadly coronavirus through physical contact. You can also contract it if you touch an object that is contaminated. Richard Martinello MD said that there is little information regarding the effectiveness of wearing a mask made with an antimicrobial material. Martinello is a professor of infectious disease at the Yale School of Medicine.
He confirmed that copper sports antiviral properties. However, it must be incorporated into every single fiber to have that potential. Making a mask purely out of copper would not let its users breathe easily. Aside from that, that would be quite expensive and impractical.
Currently, experts are not sure about the risks of wearing this mask brings. Martinello said that there’s no standard yet for ensuring a face mask actually includes copper to any level of effectiveness.
Copper masks may seem cute and fashionable but it’s better to use a medical-grade one for your own safety. If you really want to be stylish, these IRAbel cloth masks are great options.