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Opinion: Surgical coronavirus masks leave no room for style | Opinion | DW

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COVID-19: What's the difference between face masks?
Individualist days are over
The coronavirus pandemic is very serious, and masks are rightfully mandatory, please do not get me wrong. But before medical masks became compulsory, our face coverings were just so much more colorful and individualistic.
DW's Marcel Fürstenau — sans mask
In March 2020, many Germans began sewing their own masks — because medical masks, or regular ones for that matter, were not yet widely available. Many got creative, making their own, or buying them from others. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all.
Within a matter of weeks, Germany had become a nation of mask-clad individualists. Cotton and polyester face coverings — in a plethora of colors and designs — began popping up. Some were sporting plastic face shields, too.

FFP2 respirators will soon become mandatory indoors. Here's how you should prepare

Learn more about what you should watch for when purchasing a respirator, how long to use it and how to dispose of it.

Retail chains are trying to ensure adequate supply of FFP2 respirators

Some sellers limit customers to ten pieces maximum.

WaivLength Launches First Microwave-sterilisable Respirator Mask In The UK - Providing Superior FFP2 Protection At A Fraction Of The Cost

WaivLength Launches First Microwave-sterilisable Respirator Mask In The UK - Providing Superior FFP2 Protection At A Fraction Of The Cost
LONDON, Feb. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Med-tech provider
WaivLength has launched the first microwave-sterilisable respirator mask in the UK with accompanying low-cost replaceable FFP2 filters. At the core of the unique mask design is the proven technology of medical silicone, which has efficient antimicrobial properties and a high thermal resistance level - enabling the use of heat to eliminate bacteria and viruses from its surfaces.
Combined with lightweight, easily replaceable FFP2-rated filters, the WaivLength mask offers complete protection in a simple, affordable solution that prevents the prolonged use of unwashed reusable cloth masks, which increase the risk of contagion through the transfer of bacteria and viral particles from contaminated surfaces to the warm moist material covering the user's nose and mouth.

Fabric-mask makers in trouble as European countries favour safer surgical coverings

The Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal estimates that about 10 to 15 thousand workers are involved in the production of textile masks, with exports of these products estimated at around 18.8 million Euros per month.
"Our companies continue to export to other markets, but we have to consider that the French and German markets are very important markets for us and losing them will have an impact." Braz Costa is the General Director at the Textile and Clothing Research Center in Portugal. And he questions the quality of masks made of fabric available, prior to the ban:
"Countries were not strict regarding the quality control of what they imported. This has led to this situation now, to impose the use of FFP2. "