By Damon Mitchell •
Published: 16 Jul 2020 • 19:26
Andalucia requests mandatory outdoor mask use at Christmas.
OUTBREAKS continue in areas of Spain, as in the rest of the world. The autonomous communities have reinforced the rules making it obligatory to wear masks permanently both in open and closed spaces to prevent the spread of COVID.
In order to offer much-needed information to residents, the Organization of Consumers and Users have published a study on which are the best face masks for sale in the supermarket.
According to the OCU, the shortage of approved masks in the EU “has led the health authorities to provide temporary authorisations for models with Chinese certification, many of them hygienic and therefore over-the-counter, which have also contributed to lower prices.” In order to check their real filtration efficiency and compare the general quality of the cheapest masks, both hygienic and surgical, the OCU has analysed several models for sale in large supermarket chains.
Almost all the analysed single-use masks have a very good filtration efficiency (over 95 per cent), are relatively comfortable, strong and have a similar price, which is around 60 cents per unit.
Three highlighted by OCU are –
Deliplús , non-reusable hygienic masks, that can be purchased in Mercadona. Certified according to the UNE 0064 standard.
Pros: 99 per cent filtration efficiency and good breathability.
Cons: the limited resistance of the holding rubber, which can be released.
Price: €6 for a pack of ten.
Mask4U , three-layer medical mask that can be bought at Dia. Type I surgical mask certified according to EN 14683.
Pros: stands out for its excellent filtration efficiency of 98 per cent and its good breathability.
Cons: Elastic is a bit weak.
Jiangsu Excellence , non-reusable masks from Lidl. Type II surgical mask (highest category) certified according to EN 14683 standard.
Pros: It offers a filtration efficiency of 99% and good resistance to gums.
Cons: But its breathability is improvable.
Price: €5.99 euros for a pack of ten.
For the reusable masks analysed, the filtration efficiency is lower, although it is still acceptable for this category according to the limits currently being discussed by the European standardization committee.
Belpla , multi-layer reusable mask (Consum). Hygienic, certified according to UNE 0065 standard. Its filtration efficiency is good since it reaches 86 per cent. In addition, it offers good breathability and is very cheap, since if it is used five times it ends up coming out for 20 cents per unit.
Price: €9.95 for a pack of ten.
In any case, OCU insists to the public administrations on “the need to offer free masks, at least for the 10 per cent of families that according to a recent survey have serious difficulties to reach the end of the month (the campaign #mascarillasparatodos). Even more so now, with the obligatory nature of its use in the open public spaces of many localities and autonomous communities, even when it is possible to maintain a physical safety distance ”, indicates the OCU.
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