Face masks: “Be careful how you dispose of them” says GSK expert

The way in which we throw away our face masks could affect the spread of coronavirus, according to a senior medical expert.

The way in which we throw away our face masks could affect the spread of coronavirus, according to a senior medical expert.

Dr Maiej Zatonski,GlaxoSmithKline’s Medical Affairs Manager, says binning face coverings in the wrong way could increase the spread of Covid-19.

“Single use face masks cannot be recycled because there is a potential chance that the surface of your mask contains viruses,” Zatonski said.

“Masks belong in residual waste bins not in recycling containers. Therefore you should be really careful how you dispose your face mask.”

Dr Zatonski also instructed how to safely remove the face covering and how to bin it.

“Please always remember to take your face mask carefully, make sure you don’t touch it and then put it into the plastic bag,” he said.

“After three days dispose it in appropriate biohazard bins, which can be found outside hospitals.”

What do we know about face masks?

It’s been one year since the WHO declared the global pandemic and British politicians developed Covid-19 guidelines.

One of the government recommendation relates to face coverings.

According to the Gov.uk website:

“You should wear a face covering in indoor places where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.”

Moreover, on the government website we also read that there are different types of face masks.

Do all face masks give us protection?
Source: Mateusz Jaronski

“Cloth face coverings and disposable face coverings work best if they are made with multiple layers (at least 2) and form a good fit around the face.” We read.

We asked Dr Zatonski whether he agrees with this statement.

He said: “There is nothing like the best face covering because you can still catch the virus. However the face mask limits the saliva transition that contains the disease.”

Then he added: “Of course the surgical or homemade face mask can give us a bit more protection than the face shield because they are sterile.”

Can we wear homemade face masks?

Nowadays there are some individuals who decided to produce homemade cloth face masks.

Are this type of products  safe for the community?

Dr Zatonski said: “You can wear homemade face mask as long as they have two layers of the fabric.”

Then he added: “Those type of masks are washable and are also good for the environment.”

Grazyna Jaronska is a Polish shop worker from Southampton who decided to produce face coverings and help the community to stay safe.

Check out the video below to find out more.

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