3Ply Surgical Mask
Three ply or surgical masks are disposable masks that cover nose, mouth, and chin. The fit is somewhat loose and does not filter all the air that you breathe – as their is unfiltered airflow from the sides. They can protect against large particles or drops, and in some cases protect against splashes of fluids (R type rating). They will protect less effectively from aerosols that may accumulate over time in closed rooms. They are quite effective at protecting others from potential direct contamination by the wearer of the mask.
The airflow from the side feels more comfortable to many as it feels easier to breath in and less hot when breathing out.
They are made with a rectangular piece of nonwoven tissue folded three times (hence the 3Ply denomination). Elastic bands behind your ears will keep it tighly adjusted. Some organization prefer laces that have to be tied as they cannot be “readjusted” and stay put as many security procedures in critical environments demand. The “proper” use of a mask demands to change mask after taking it off from the face – it may not be necessary in less strict conditions than in a highly infections area of a hospital ward.
Check that your 3Ply masks carry a metallic strip that can be bent for a better nose fit. The cheapest and non-certified models lack this feature. Also verify they have two external layers and a filtering layer in between in the best quality ones.