With the rising surge in Covid-19 cases and the emergence of different virus strains, everyone is probably in disarray over what kind of medical grade masks can entirely protect them from the virus. Some use homemade cloth masks, bandanas, baclavas, disposable surgical masks, N95 and even copper masks with the singular thought that these are all covid-19 proof. Countries like Korea started creating a nano fiber reusable face mask that can be sterilized and have a 95% filtration rate for fine airborne particles. With the shortage of masks all over the world and a higher demand for a more effective face mask, will this be one of the most ideal and recommended medical grade mask to date?
KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) research team developed this type of mask intended to be washable and reusable. Unlike the N95 which fails to maintain their air filtering function when exposed to water, Korean nano fiber masks’ structure does not deteriorate even after numerous exposure to water or ethanol. The filtration rate is steady at 94% based on a study done after being soaked in ethanol for about three hours. It’s reusable for about a month, filtering 600 nanometer particles even after undergoing 4,000 bend tests.
Out of curiosity with this marvelous study, I ended up purchasing 12 of the Korean nano fiber reusable face mask a few months back when N95 masks were scarce. Compared to the N95, I was able to breathe easily. It fit perfectly well on my lower face, with no visible spaces on the edges, completely sealing everything. Using this on my 12 hour flight was comfortable to say the least. I sanitized this mask using hot soap and water, soaking it for about an hour before hanging it to dry and then spraying it with 70% alcohol. I noticed, however, that after numerous use, the straps became a little bit loose over time and the nose wire was a little bit rusty if you soak it in water for a long time.
Despite its minor shortcomings, I think it’s the most effective face mask in preventing Covid-19 due to its unique cutting-edge technology, but masks alone won’t be able to eliminate this threat. One needs to do proper handwashing, sanitation of groceries or items brought inside the house, and of course practice social distancing. You may find the Korean Nanofiber mask practical because it’s reusable whilst maintaining its structure and filtration rate. Moreover, you won’t feel suffocated wearing it for long periods of time. With the difficulty of acquiring authentic N95 masks, these reusable face mask is ideal, effective, and is worth the purchase.