It doesn’t take much digging to find stories on the internet of the negative effects of masks with valves. While the exhalation valve makes it easier for the wearer to breathe, the valve can still allow respiratory droplets to escape into the air. Medical professionals can be seen using a common workaround: a valved N95 covered with a surgical mask and then a face shield. But what if there was a way to provide the ventilation of a valved mask and the highest quality protection against spreading COVID-19?
Here’s how the Modular Mask is introducing a new approach to the face mask valve.
A Different Kind of Valve
When it comes to making a valved mask that works, details and materials make all the difference. In the case of the Modular Mask reusable valves, the five details that make it work best against COVID are…
- The placement of the valve above the nose and mouth.
- A smaller diameter hole than most valves.
- A copper/brass mesh filter.
- A one-way rubber gasket, and.
- Only two vents in the cover valve.
We’ll discuss the valve placement and why that matters below, but first, let’s look at the actual design of the valve itself. The small diameter hole in the valve is the first line of defense. Not only have the droplets already been filtered through the mesh, but they must now navigate a much smaller opening than the common respiratory valve.
The copper and brass mesh filter is the next line of defense that helps protect those in the vicinity from breathing in potentially dangerous particles. The wearer’s breath is filtered through the mesh as an added layer of protection. Next, the one-way rubber gasket ensures the wearer isn’t breathing in infected air from outside the mask cover.
Finally, the top cover of the valve has only two vents—while the N95 valve has six. This makes a huge difference in the amount of air escaping the mask and entering the air around the wearer.
While every element of the valve protects those around the mask wearer, they also still provide the wearer with the ability to breathe more freely; one of the reasons the valved mask is so significant, especially in healthcare.
Why Valve Placement Matters
For those familiar with the N95 mask, the most common placement of the valve is directly in front of the wearer’s mouth. This placement, along with a lower grade design than the valves described above, makes the valved mask a risk to those nearby.
The Modular Mask could help solve this design flaw with the placement of the valves on the sides of the mask. Instead of the wearer breathing directly into the valve, much of their breathed air is caught in the hemp/silk inner layer of the Modular Mask before it even reaches the valve.
This valve design provides not only a mask that allows easy breathing for professions that require long-term mask usage but it also adds some extra protection from transmitting COVID-19 particles. This is a huge step forward for healthcare professionals, frontline workers, and those who are required to wear masks for several hours at a time.
A Mask For Every Need
While the Modular Mask provides options that do not have valves, the valved mask cap was designed to provide as much protection as possible from airborne particles. Where the N95 and other valved masks fall short, the valved mask cap of the Modular Mask gives wearers the ventilation and protection they deserve.