Survey: Most of Israeli public use face masks improperly amid coronavirus

While focusing on personal habits of face mask wear, the survey mainly targeted the frequency with which Israelis change their masks.

The Livinguard anti-viral face mask (photo credit: Courtesy)
The Livinguard anti-viral face mask
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A recent study focusing on the habits of personal face mask use in Israel found that "most of the public exposes itself to infection with COVID-19 due to wrong use of face masks."
While focusing on personal habits of face mask wear, the survey mainly targeted the frequency with which Israelis change their masks.
Health experts recommend changing a mask once every two hours. When a mask is used for too long it can be the perfect environment for bacterial growth, especially if after use the mask is put on a table another great surface for bacteria. Doing so sets up a never ending cycle, perfect for bacteria to thrive in.
The survey found that 90% of the population does not follow the creed of changing their masks every two hours. More than 25% reported changing their mask less than once a day, meaning a good portion of Israelis use the same mask for days at a time, and fewer than 10% of disposable-mask users report using three or more masks daily.
Some 20% report changing their mask once a day.
Continuing on disposable masks, over 75% of the population are using surgical masks while the remainder use reusable washable masks.
As it can be seen around the world, not just in Israel, many wearers tend to place the masks on their neck or below their nose when not in "use," whether by force of habit or just flouting regulations. The survey authors note that the neck is a place where germs and viruses tend to accumulate throughout the day in the life of a normal person.
Whereas normally these germs would wash off after taking a shower, with a mask two things occur: After a shower, when the covering is placed on the neck the germs already present on the mask are transmitted to the skin from the fabric. Additionally, and arguably more importantly, when a new mask is in use and then placed upon a wearers neck it will cup the germs from the neck within the mask, dragging them directly over the wearers mouth whenever they decide to bring the mask back to their face.
The survey was conducted by RotemAR research institute and Amos Gazit Ltd, who recommend that mask wearers switch to an anti-viral, reusable mask, with anti-microbial capabilities both on the inner and outer layers of the fabric, such as the “Livinguard” face mask.
The sample surveyed was taken from a representative sample of the Israeli-Jewish public over the age of 18.
Livinguard face mask. (Courtesy)Livinguard face mask. (Courtesy)


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