Neena Bhati, head of campaigns at consumer group Which?, revealed which face masks are worth buying, and which ones to avoid – all of which can be bought from pharmacies, high street stores, supermarkets and online retailers. “Our scientists tested masks for how well they filtered particles, how breathable they were, and how they fared after multiple washes,” explained Bhati. There was a “wide range of effectiveness”, all the way from being able to block 99 percent of potentially harmful bacteria to only blocking a third of particles.

“What was worrying for us was that there were high filtration claims made on the packaging of these masks and yet they didn’t live up to tests,” said Bhati.

Bhati also said that there were “poor packaging instructions across a range of these masks” that may further inhibit their effectiveness.

People may mistakenly believe they are highly protected from catching Covid if wearing face masks, but these results suggest that simply isn’t true.

The face mask that caused concern

The worst performing mask, according to scientific researchers at Which?, was the Adidas face covering.

The Adidas face covering is widely available from ASOS, Next, and Sports Direct.

This choice of face mask “only blocked a third of potentially harmful bacterial particles”.

Adidas told Sky News: “Our face mask was designed for the general public and is not medically graded, but it can help limit the spread of droplets.”

Express.co.uk have also contacted Adidas for comment on the issue and are currently awaiting a response.

Bhati emphasised that there is a “development of standards” for non-medical face coverings.

“We all know we have to use face masks,” she said. “And really what this shows is there needs to be more oversight to ensure that the basic standards and requirements of these non-medical face coverings are met.”

The face mask that offered the best protection

The Airpop Pocket Mask had “up to 99 percent filtration effectiveness”, making it the best performing face mask in the research.

Bhati highlighted the “wide disparity” in the effectiveness of face masks you can buy.

“[This] means people need to do a lot of research before they look to buy a mask,” added Bhati.

Boots stated that they have “full confidence” in the filtration claims of their masks.

“It’s been rigorously tested and continues to achieve 95 percent filtration for up to 10 washes,” a Boots representative said.

Bhati commented: “Our tests have shown that they haven’t lived up to the claims according to what’s on their packaging and also how they perform in terms of after washes.”

Boots refuted this statement by adding that “there is not currently a mandatory standard test method for reusable face coverings”.

“The Boots face coverings follow the industry standard test for medical masks,” the representative told Express.co.uk, and “it continues to achieve 95 percent filtration after 10 washes”.

“In order to maintain the highest quality, we strongly recommend following the washing and drying instructions exactly as stated on the packaging.

“If you need any advice on choosing the right face mask for you, our friendly in-store pharmacy team will be able to help.”

Face masks worst to best

  • Adidas face mask
  • Boots face mask
  • The Airpop Pocket Mask

Which?’s full findings can be found here.

People should be aware that wearing a mask – no matter which one – is better protection than not wearing a mask at all.

To help keep you and others safe, it’s still required to wear face masks in enclosed spaces such as shopping centres.

 

Post source Daily Express

Last Updated on May 19, 2021 by shalw

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