After nearly a year of wearing masks, many people are starting to get fatigued by them and looking for an alternative, but is there one? Clear face shields for COVID 19 are often brought up as substitutes, but are face shields as effective as masks?
If you’re exploring alternatives to face masks, make sure you do plenty of research on the benefits and risks of each form of protection so you know you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself and those around you safe.
There is plenty of competing information out there, so we have gathered information from reputable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization to answer the question, “are face shields as good as masks?”
Are Face Shields Better Than Masks?
To answer this question, we first need to look at how the coronavirus is spread. According to the CDC, “COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets travel into the air when you cough, sneeze, talk, shout or sing. These droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of people who are near you, or they may breathe these droplets in.”
For this reason, masks are the best form of protection. Over numerous studies, masks have proven to be the most effective at stopping the spread of these respiratory droplets. On the other hand, plastic face shields can protect the eyes from exposure where masks do not.
Is Eye Protection Necessary?
One’s eyes are a vulnerable area of exposure to coronavirus-containing droplets. Plastic face shields provide an added layer of protection that most masks lack. For healthcare professionals, educators, restaurant works, care providers, or any individual exposed to people throughout the day, a plastic face mask is recommended reinforcement to minimize spread.
Keep in mind that plastic face shields provide an initial barrier of protection, but droplets in the environment can still be inhaled through the open areas around the plastic visor. Face shields are primarily used to protect the eyes but have large gaps below and alongside the face where your respiratory droplets may escape and reach others around you.
The same goes for breathing in others’ droplets. While there isn’t as much research available on how well face shields protect you from those around you, it can be assumed that if droplets are escaping around the bottom of the shield, they can also be breathed in that way. That means that reusable face shields are best used in conjunction with masks, not in place of them.
Benefits of Face Shields
The CDC may not recommend using face shields as a substitute to masks, but they are a great addition to them. One major weakness of masks is that they do not protect the eyes of the wearer. When worn along with a mask, face shields provide the most protection, keeping droplets and spray away from the mouth, nose, and eyes.
Face shields also provide the additional benefit of keeping the wearer from touching their face. One of the main ways viruses like coronavirus is spread through people touching their eyes, nose, or mouth, allowing the virus to enter the body. Face shields prevent the dangerous spread of germs by making it difficult to touch your face with potentially infected hands.
Best Face Shields
When it comes to keeping employees safe, you don’t want to take any chances. If your employees work in high exposure settings, a face shield can be a very beneficial added layer of defense against contracting COVID 19.
RealShield is a full-face, clear face shield that protects both employees and customers. It’s durable, lightweight, and comfortable to wear, attaching to most hats and visors. It is reusable and crafted from shatterproof polycarbonate to be washed with soap and water and worn again. This safety face shield for teachers, students, and other employees prevents face touching to mitigate the spread of germs and shields from respiratory droplets that may enter the mouth, nose, or eyes. Available in both adult and child sizes, RealShield is durable, long-lasting, and designed with comfort in mind.
Also available are 3N1 multi-use protective face shields for use in critical care environments. Three removable layers make it easy to dispose of harmful pathogens on the exposed shield, offering three shields in one. The adhesive stays with the discarded layer and eliminates residue on the remaining safety face shields. These face shields for medical workers protect the vision, face, and mouth of emergency, primary, and critical care personnel, all while offering convenience much needed in this fast-paced environment.
Bulk face shields can be purchased through DefenseLite.com for use in schools, restaurants, hospitals, churches, or other organizations with many employees in need of face shields. If you’re looking for face shields to keep your employees safe, look no further than RealShield and 3N1 multi-use face shields.