(Image source from: fastcompany.net)
No study till now has been done on the usage of copper masks in fighting the coronavirus.
There is viral news recently that the copper masks work better than the regular masks or surgical masks to fight the coronavirus. This is because the germs and bacteria cannot survive for long on the copper material.
But, are copper masks really effective against coronavirus?
There is a claim that copper masks are being sold at several places by saying that copper is a natural disinfectant and when the virus comes in contact with any virus it will be neutralized within four hours.
Copper is considered to be anti-viral and anti-bacterial. A study has come out in March 2020 which says about how many hours can coronavirus stay on different surfaces.
This study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and said that in a controlled lab condition the virus can remain on the stainless steel as well as plastic platforms for a few days while on copper it can survive only for a few hours.
Several doctors have come out in response to this study and said that it is indeed possible that the coronavirus can stay just for 4 hours on any copper surface.
Some doctors have said that a face mask cannot be made entirely with copper and the face mask must have the outer and the inner surface made entirely with copper. But, the face masks are generally knitted with thread which makes it impossible to have the entire copper surface on the masks.
The important point to note is that the copper masks that are available in the market and also on Amazon are not certified and have not been studied for their effectiveness.
Another study published in one of the journals said that the respiratory masks with copper oxide can be beneficial because people generally do not dispose of their face masks properly which increases the risk of the virus spreading and when a copper oxide mask is not properly disposed of, it would not cause much problem as the virus only stays for 4 hours in this case.
However, it must be noted this study was done during the case of H1N1 and influenza viruses and not in the case of coronavirus.
Moreover, the guidelines of several health agencies do not in particular mention the benefits of copper masks.
Experts recommend that it is more important for people to wear masks and that too properly by taking care of the hand hygiene.
However, more study needs to be done in the case of a copper mask and its effectiveness. However, till then use your masks properly and remember to use hand sanitizer frequently.
By Gayatri Yellayi