With the rise of COVID-19, face masks, gloves, and hand sanitiser have become huge parts in our day-to-day lives. As both members of the public and professionals are now required to wear PPE in certain situations, the sales of such items have gone through the roof. But do you really know what you’re buying and why?

When referring to PPE in the case of COVID-19, it’s worn to protect yourself as well as others from contracting or spreading the virus. In this article, we explore the three most used forms of PPE and why they’re so important when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

1. Face masks (Respiratory protection)

In the UK, it’s currently a legal requirement to wear a face covering when visiting a shop, using public transport, and in various other settings (a full list of locations can be found here).

The most recognisable mask is the 3 Ply Disposable Surgical Mask. Traditionally worn by professionals in the healthcare industry, they act as a barrier, trapping and preventing the spread of the virus and other bacteria. They offer a comfortable fit and should be carefully thrown away after use to ensure bacteria isn’t spread to surrounding surfaces.

There are a wide range of facemasks available that will protect you and others against COVID-19, and we’ve covered this in one of our recent blogs: What type of facemask best protects against coronavirus?

When looking to purchase a face mask, you need to understand what’s best for your situation. For example, you may have come across valved face masks. These masks are designed for prolonged use, as they allow exhaled air to escape from the mask, while stopping dust, fibres and other nasties from being inhaled. Valved face masks should not be used for general wear by the public, including shop visits and when using public transport. Why? Any living virus or bacteria are being exhaled from the mask, putting others in danger of contracting COVID-19.

For a safe and effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, look for a mask that meets that European Standards EM:14683. For a mask to meet this standard, it must include the following:

  • A Bacteria Filtration Efficiency (BFE) of 98% or above
  • A Particulate Filtration Efficiency of 99% or above
  • A fluid resistance of 80 mmHg or above
  • A Differential Pressure (Delta P) of 3.0mm or below (This measures breathability, a low value is better)

Without proper use of facemasks, people infected with COVID-19 are likely to spread the virus onto surrounding surfaces, potentially infecting other people too. So, be sure to wear a face mask where required, and ensure it’s fit for purpose.

SANIQUE masks

2. Gloves

Gloves are a very common use of PPE, and when it comes to COVID-19, they can help stop the spread of the virus. However, the use of gloves is not always necessary. We’ll let you know why.

First of all, gloves shouldn’t be worn in public places like shops. The major problem with gloves is that they create a sense of self-protection. This can cause people to wear gloves for longer than they should, resulting in infrequent hand washing.

When gloves are not properly disposed of after use, they build up bacteria which is passed onto anything and everything that is touched from there onwards. In most cases, you’re better off wearing no gloves at all and making sure proper hand hygiene is in practice.  

When to use gloves

Weather you’re in a home or work environment, you should take precaution by wearing gloves while cleaning and disinfecting. Be sure to follow precautions listed on the disinfectant product label, which often advises the use of gloves and good ventilation in the room you’re cleaning. You should also thoroughly wash your hands upon removing the gloves and dispose of carefully.

If you’re providing care to someone who is sick at home or in another non-healthcare setting, gloves should be worn to protect yourself and others from contracting the virus. Like above, gloves should be disposed of after use in order to control the virus.

SANIQUE gloves

3. Hand sanitiser

Alcohol-based hand sanitiser is regarded as an alternative to someone washing their hands with soap and warm water – one of the most effective ways to limit the transmission of COVID-19.

If soap and warm water is not immediately available, the NHS advise alcohol-based hand sanitisers, with studies showing those that contain at least 60% alcohol to be most effective. Anything below 60% alcohol content will only reduce the growth of germs, rather than kill them. Be sure to keep this in mind when purchasing your hand sanitiser.

However, if hands are greasy or soiled, hand sanitiser may not be effective. In this situation, water and soap should be used to effectively remove the grime.

At SANIQUE, we offer 75% alcohol-based hand sanitiser in a range of sizes. From 100ml, to 250ml, 500ml, and 5L bottles, our hand sanitisers kill 99.9% of germs and conforms to GB/T16483-2008 and GB/T17519-2013 standards. Our bulk buy discounts are perfect for businesses looking to protect employees and customers while saving money.

SANIQUE hand sanitiser

Using PPE correctly

Without proper use of PPE, the chance of transmitting infection is greatly increased. You must be vigilant.

With no set timings for when PPE should be changed, you must monitor it closely. If your mask or gloves are dirty, wet, or damaged, you must dispose of it right away.

For more information on PPE products, contact one of our experts at SANIQUE today, we’d be more than happy to help.

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