More than half of us are reusing disposable masks - and others aren't being washed much

One of the biggest hurdles we face is how people choose the mask they buy and how they use it after purchase.

We more often look for a quick and cheap solution without really understanding the science of virology. Beyond the key question of 'how effective is my mask' the other area of concern is how we handle infectious material. Most masks will block a small proportion of the virus but will retain infectious material on the surface for a period of time. 

Source: SKY NEWS

Only around 12% of people that wear reusable masks are washing their coverings correctly, according to SAGE.

More than half of people who wear disposable face masks to protect against coronavirus are using them multiple times, while those who opt for reusable coverings are not washing them regularly, the government's top scientific advisers have found.

According to a report by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), only one in eight people are washing reusable face coverings correctly, with 34% using them more than four times before they clean them.

While SAGE admits there is no hard evidence showing the effectiveness of washing most reusable masks, the documents from 15 September say coronavirus is "readily inactivated by soap and water".

Regarding disposable masks, the report says those that are binned incorrectly could also pose a risk for those who handle waste, but SAGE suggests that safe handling and good hygiene can mitigate this.

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