How do you know that your mask is really a three-layer surgical mask?
These masks are non-woven masks that consist of three layers of non-woven polypropylene materials:
- A waterproof outer non-woven layer that is transparent.
- A non-woven polypropylene middle layer that is produced by a special melting process called melt blowing and is white in color.
- An inner non-woven layer that absorbs moisture and is green, blue or white.
Experiments to detect the true three-layer mask
- Testing by observation: check the layers of the mask. If there are no three layers, the mask is fake.
- Testing with fire: the middle layer of the surgical mask is made of propylene material produced by a special melting method called melt blowing, and not of paper. Therefore, if you put this layer on fire, it will not catch fire, but it will melt without a flame. If your mask catches fire, it is not a three-layer propylene mask.
- Testing with water: the outer layer of the mask is designed to be waterproof. So if you pour some water on the outer layer of the mask, you should see that the water is not absorbed by the mask. If this outer side of the mask gets wet, it is not a 3-layer propylene mask.
Electrostatic absorption test: The melted middle layer has static electricity. If you cut this layer into strips, you will feel the effect of absorbing static electricity. Also, these strips have static electricity and stick to steel surfaces (due to having an electric charge). If your mask does not have this feature, it is not a real three-layer mask.
- Light transmission test: The middle layer of the mask, which acts as a filter to prevent the passage of bacteria, should not be too porous. If too much light shines through the mask when you hold it up to a light source, you don't have a true 3-layer mask.
- Breathing test: three-layer surgical masks are designed so that the melted middle layer prevents droplets from passing through the mask by electrostatic attraction on its surface. The inner layer of the mask is for absorbing water, sweat and saliva. Once you put this three-layer mask on your face, it is very difficult to extinguish a flame like a candle flame. If you can easily blow out the flame with a mask, then a three-layer mask is useless.
- Water absorption test: The innermost layer of the mask is designed to absorb liquids such as saliva, mucous secretions and droplets from sneezing. Therefore, if a person wearing a mask sneezes, it will absorb the released droplets and the person's face will not get wet. If the inner layer of the mask is not water absorbent, the three-layer mask is not suitable.
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