Will a Face Shield Protect You From the Coronavirus?
Face shields have been used in healthcare settings for a while now, but they’ve become a staple for medical personnel who have to intubate patients with COVID-19. Face shields are often worn during a wide variety of medical procedures. This includes surgeries or any procedure where bone fragments, blood or other bodily fluids could get into the eyes, nose and mouth.
A face shield is simply a curved plastic or Plexiglas panel attached to a headband that can be worn over the face. It should fit securely so there isn’t a gap between the band and the forehead. The shield should also extend beyond the chin.
“Because they extend down from the forehead, shields protect the eyes as well as the nose and mouth,” says pediatric infectious disease specialist Frank Esper, MD. The coverage that face shields offer is ideal since the new coronavirus can enter the body through those points. We provide many protective products.
Are face shields effective?
A 2014 study showed that when tested against an influenza-infused aerosol from a distance of 18 inches away, a face shield reduced exposure by 96% during the period immediately after a cough. The face shield also reduced the surface contamination of a respirator by 97%.“It protects you, the wearer,” Dr. Esper says. “But if you cough, because the face shield is away from your face, those droplets can still get out better than if you have a mask on.”
Are face shields good for everyday use?
CDC does not recommend wearing face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. However, some people may choose to use a face shield when they know that they’ll be in sustained close contact with others. In these cases, it’s best to wear a mask underneath the face shield and maintain physical distancing when possible. This will help minimize the risk of infection since face shields have openings at the bottom.
Safety Glasses and Protective Eyewear
Eye protection means more than just wearing the contact lenses or glasses you may use for vision correction. The type of eye protection needed will depend on what you are doing, from attending public protests to playing paintball. Your regular eyeglasses do not protect your eyes from impact, debris or damage. In fact, some eye glasses can shatter if damaged, causing even more eye injury. Protective eye wear should be made from polycarbonate material because it resists shattering and can provide UV (ultraviolet light) protection.
For most repair projects and activities around the home, it's enough to wear safety glasses that meet the criteria set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). For many work situations, that same protection is enough, but there are important exceptions. Sports eye protection should meet the specific requirements of that sport. The sport's governing body may set and certify these requirements. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) may as well. In some cases, both organizations may be involved.
At Home: Safety Glasses, Goggles and Other Protective Eyewear
Every household should have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear. You should wear it when doing projects or activities that could create a risk for eye injuries at home.
Choose protective eyewear with "ANSI Z87.1" marked on the lens or frame. This means the glasses, safety goggles or face shield meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1 safety standard. You can buy ANSI-approved protective eyewear from most hardware stores nationwide.
You should use eye protection if the activity involves:
Hazardous chemicals or other substances that could damage your eyes upon contact
Flying debris or other small particles that could hit participants or bystanders
Projectiles or objects that could become projectiles and fly into the eyes unexpectedly
Bottom line: use common sense, especially if there are children around. You should protect them and set an example by making a smart choice.