What are the features to look out for when buying a community mask?
A community mask must have filtration capacity, that is, be able to retain the microorganisms that try to cross it; on the other hand, it has to be breathable, that is, it has to let the air that we exhale and inhale pass through, otherwise the mask does not work as such and the air enters and leaves from the sides. Therefore, being breathable and having filtration capacity are the two main characteristics that you should pay attention to when buying.
But there are other aspects to take into account. For example, the shape of the mask should allow it to fit well on the face – this has to do with the shape and materials it is made of. You should also pay close attention to the behavior of the rubber bands and the nose clip (the metallic element that allows a good fit of the mask to the nose and face).
Considering these characteristics, two levels of community facial coverage are defined, according to their filtration efficiency, level 2 for a filtration power equal to or greater than 90%; and level 3 for filtration power equal to or greater than 70%.
More recently, a new benchmark for mandatory certification of masks has been defined, according to the European Standardization Committee, look for products that comply with CWA 17553:2020.