This chart shows the best and worst face masks
to clarify about masks with vents:
they are not intended to prevent spread of pathogens. they exist solely to protect the wearer. they are intended for e.g. building sites or industrial settings where there may be dust & particles etc. in the air – i.e. they do a great job at filtering what comes in through the mask (hence the high stats), but they have a handy vent that opens when you breathe out. there is absolutely no filtering on the air coming out through that vent (because in the setting they’re designed for, there’s no need for it). do not wear these masks, they are almost useless in terms of preventing the spread of the virus.
Protecting yourself is still protecting others because you cannot spread it if you don’t catch it. Pathogens that can only reproduce in living humans are a rare area of life where the interests of the individual and the interests of the collective are in near perfect alignment. Obviously, if everyone inhaled only highly filtered air, the virus would have a hard time regardless of what happens to the exhalation.
Even putting that aside, there’s nothing wrong with protecting yourself.
All that aside, masks by definition (per OSHA) do not provide an air-tight seal around the face. Get an elastomeric respirator and some P100 filters instead. They’re available again for the general public and have been for a while now.
@ people who think that valved PPE shouldn’t be worn at all no matter how good its anti-ingress protection is:
As the saying goes [link], have you tried sitting down and thinking about the problem for five minutes?
[Apparently Tumblr, in its hellsiteishness, does not allow descriptive alt text on images. For anyone unable to see it: that is a picture of a valved P100 respirator whose valve has been taped over with cloth.]
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