Not recommended, this is what you need to know about scuba masks and buffs

KOMPAS.com – PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (PT KCI) requires passengers to wear masks while riding electric trains ( KRL).

VP Corporate Communications of PT KCI Anne Purba said that prospective passengers are encouraged to use masks that are effective in holding back droplets.

However, passengers are advised not to wear mask scuba or buff.

This is what we need to know about scuba and buff masks.

What’s with the scuba mask?

On September 15, 2020, Spokesperson for the Covid-19 Handling Task Force, Wiku Adisasmito, responded to the ban on the use of scuba masks and buffs on the commuterline.

He said scuba masks and buffs were less effective at warding off the corona virus.

Mask scuba or buff is a mask with only one layer and is too thin so that it is more likely to penetrate, “said Wiku, as reported Kompas.com.

Wiku said, scuba masks are usually easy to pull around the neck so that their use is not effective as a prevention.

According to him, masks are an important tool in preventing the transmission of the corona virus so that people need to wear quality masks such as surgical masks or three-layer cotton cloth.

Based on research at the University of Oxford, cotton cloth has a 70 percent resistance level of corona virus transmission.

However, to increase the resistance of the protection it is recommended to insert a tissue folded into three parts in a cloth mask.

Also read: So that children use masks when leaving the house, here are the tips

How effectively do scuba masks prevent transmission of the virus?

SHUTTERSTOCK Illustration of a scuba mask

Meanwhile, it was reported Kompas.com, April 14, 2020, researcher of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) Clean Technology Research Workshop (LIPI), Dr Eng Muhamad Nasir, explained the basis for testing the main performance of masks.

He explained, there are three main performance testing stages of masks, namely:

  • Bacterial filtration test (bactrial fitritation efficiency)
  • Particulate filtration test (particulate filtration efficiency)
  • Air permeability test and pressure differential (breathability of the mask)

According to him, cloth masks with flexible materials such as scuba, when used, will stretch the material so that the density and pores of the fabric enlarge and open up which makes air permeability high.

This makes the chances for the particular virus to penetrate the mask even greater.

Also read: PT KCI Values ​​Scuba Mask Ineffective, This Is An Expert Explanation

Launch Healthline, 14 September 2020, the buff was also said to not provide effective protection against the spread of the corona virus.

Studies from Duke University in North Carolina, United States, the researchers concluded that the buff is not effective at blocking droplet or respiratory droplets that come out of the mouth, which are one of the entry routes for transmission of the Covid-19 corona virus.

So, when people talk and droplets come out of the mouth, the risk of disease transmission remains high.

In fact, it is said that people using buffs are much worse than people who don’t wear masks at all.

According to the researchers, buffs actually make droplets multiply in the air.

“Maybe many people think, using any type of mask is better than not wearing it at all. However, it is wrong,” explained Duke University study leader Martin Fischer.

“We observed that the number of droplets increased when people applied the buff. We believe the materials used in the buff can break down the droplets into smaller particles. This makes buff users counterproductive, because smaller droplets are more easily carried away by air and harm people on board. around, “he continued.

This study proves that not all masks have the same level of effectiveness.

Mitchell H Grayson, director of the Allergy and Immunology Division at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, said that everyday use of a cloth mask with multiple layers can work just as well as a surgical mask.

Also read: KRL passengers are asked not to use it, what’s wrong with scuba masks and buffs?

Material material

Researchers at the LIPI Biomaterials Research Center, Dian Burhani, S.Si, MT revealed that one of the factors that determine the effectiveness of masks to prevent the spread of the corona virus is the pore size of the material.

“The corona virus is transmitted through droplet. So, to be effective, the pore size of the mask material must be smaller than the size droplet, “said Dian, as reported Kompas.com, 16 September 2020.

He added, when compared to the N95 mask which has a 14 micron pore, the scuba mask has bigger pores, around 30-40 microns.

In addition to the larger pore size, another thing that makes scuba masks doubtful is its effectiveness because the mask is only one layer.

“If you only wear a one-layer mask, you are worried that the droplets will stick to the outside of the mask and gradually seep through the pores of the mask, which will then directly hit your mouth and nose,” he said.

Dian added, in addition to N95 masks and surgical masks, masks that are considered effective in preventing the transmission of the corona virus are three-layer cotton masks, because each part of the mask has its own protective function.

Source: KOMPAS.com (Muhammad Isa, Rakhmat Nur, Vina Fadhrotul / Editor: Ambaranie Nadia, Krisiandi, Jihad A, Gloria S, Bestari K)

Also read: Covid-19 Task Force: Scuba Masks and Buffs Are Less Effective against Corona Virus

KOMPAS.com/Akbar Bhayu Tamtomo
Infographic: 5 Common Mistakes on How to Wear a Mask

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