Surgical and hygienic masks, the most recommended for the population, have a useful life of between 4 and 8 hours and, when keeping them for a second use, they should be kept in a breathable bag or a paper envelope, but never in the purse or pocket, since they are a vector of contamination.
This is recommended by the Collegiate Organization of Nursing and the Nursing Area of the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Respiratory Surgery (SEPAR), which have published an infographic and an animated video with the main tips for making good use of masks.
They remember that surgical and hygienic masks protect others through what is called community protection, and their half-life is between four and eight hours.
They warn that it is not advisable to wear a mask continuously for more than six hours in a row because the humidity they can collect makes it less effective.
When removing it, if this time has not been met, it is important not to keep it in your purse or pocket because the mask is a vehicle of transmission, of contamination.
Therefore, they recommend carrying it in a breathable bag, such as a paper envelope, knowing that the clean part is the internal part, the one that we have stuck to our faces, and the dirty part is the external part, which we should not touch.
The mask should cover the mouth, nose and chin and anything other than wearing it like this - such as putting it under the nose, on the chin or on the forehead - is a misuse of this protective element. In addition, it is very important to know that we should not remove our mask to speak, cough or sneeze.
The president of the General Council of Nursing, Florentino Pérez Raya, warns that the misuse of masks increases the risk of contagion from COVID-19, since the external surface of the mask is considered a transmission vehicle and we can catch it.
It also generates a false sense of security in those who use it, so preventive measures that remain essential are forgotten, such as maintaining the safety distance of two meters and frequent hand washing.
For his part, the coordinator of the SEPAR Nursing Area, David Díaz-Pérez, affirms that "in a population not trained in the handling of this type of device, the obligatory nature of its use must be accompanied by training for the general population that we must do also health professionals. "