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Why You Shouldn’t Wear a Mask with a Valve for Covid 19

As we went over in our post on the different types of masks, the CDC recommends people wear masks, not as much for their own protection, but for the protection of others. If an asymptomatic person is Covid-19 positive, a face mask can help prevent their germs from splattering in the air and on surfaces.

While cloth masks are far from perfect, they are better than nothing. Disposable masks like the ones we sell are better than cloth, and N95/KN95 respirators are even better – unless they have a valve. In fact, some states and cities are even banning the use of masks with valves.

Mask valves are a little plastic one-way valve that closes when you breathe in, so pathogens can’t get through it. However, when you breathe out the valve opens, and all your germs go out.

A lot of people like the masks with valves because they are cooler, which makes them more comfortable. And yes, if you wear an N95 (or KN95), you are getting more protection for yourself. But if you use a mask with a valve, you are not protecting the people around you – which defeats the whole CDC guideline’s purpose.