We own four vented Charcoal House-CarboCloth masks. I’m confused about their durability. Once a package is opened how many uses for short visits to a store or public place can the mask take before I should replace it?
In Hospital Settings
In hospital settings we say that the mask is good for one eight-hour shift.
For Non-hospital Settings
The mask is good for 80 ‘wearing hours’, as you stay in normal air conditions. If you were in areas such as northern California when they were having tremendous fires, it would possibly not work that long if you were in heavy forest fire smoke. In that type of situation, you would know as soon as the surface area of the charcoal was filled up, because it would no longer be filtering the smoke, allowing you to smell it.
We have our good customer HR that was a first responder on the ground at 9/11 in New York City. His lungs were damaged terribly and has since been on disability. He has worn our masks for years, he cannot go anywhere without them on. He loves our masks and often tells us what a life saver they are. Often he has to wear them in the house. For HR, he goes through a mask a week. He now lives in sunny FL, among a lot of pollutants.
A lot of chemically sensitive people just wear them shopping and for other outings. Their masks last a much longer time as they tend to be more house bound and their homes are generally their only safe zone. But all in all, 80 hours wearing time. However, I must confess, I did wear my sole mask that I took with me on a month long trip to India, mainly for the purpose of keeping the fuel smell from my nose and it worked the whole month wonderfully. Flying into India we were caught off guard and just after our last meal the flight attendants burst into our cabin and sprayed an insecticide on us, I just about freaked! I had my mask totally unreachable in my backpack, under the seat in front of me…….sigh. I was so sick for the next three days and it took me a week to feel normal again. I was totally prepared with my mask close at hand in my pouch, when we left India en route to our first connection in Qatar and indeed they sprayed us just before landing. Even though I had used my mask heavily for a whole month, it worked amazingly well and I had a great shopping visit in the beautiful Qatar airport because I felt just fine and suffered no repercussions from the insecticide.
How to get the most wearing hours out your face mask:
When not wearing your mask, it is always best to put it back into the protective pouch it came in. If you just toss the mask onto your desk or bedside table, the charcoal will keep working, adsorbing odors (cooking smells, smoke, perfumes, laundry detergent, etc.) and by doing so, you are using up its surface area. You can wash the mask, but only in water or with a little baking soda and nothing more and then hang to dry in a fragrance free area and when dry put back in the pouch it came in or a clean, tightly capped glass jar.
What is the shelf life of the mask?
Last but not least, the shelf life of the mask material has been tested for up to five years. Basically, there is nothing to break down in the mask, not the charcoal or the silver. Let’s say you have a mask and you toss it into the glove compartment of your truck as we have, just sitting there for when you possibly might need it. Extreme high temps or cold temps in the vehicle will not degrade the mask and after five years in the glove compartment, never opened, it is still as good as new.
March 30, 2020
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