Given the rise in demand for face masks as of late, many people are probably wondering why it takes so long for new batches of face masks to come in, and when can we start buying them the moment they become available. Some people have even gone as far as to try and source for the face masks themselves directly from the manufacturer.
But, that might not be the wisest decision, because apparently according to China Press, face masks that are fresh off the production line may prove to be a health hazard if worn immediately.
This is due to the fact that during the manufacturing process, face masks need to go through a chemical sterilisation process that uses ETO (Ethylene oxide) gas to ensure that no bacteria or viruses are found on the masks, prior to them being shipped to consumers. The whole manufacturing sequence, which takes upwards of 0.5 seconds per mask, may sound pretty quick.
But it is the waiting period that has been causing massive shortage issues, as manufacturers have to wait between seven to 15 days before the ETO gases used to sterilise the face masks can dissipate.
If you didn’t know, ETO gas is a known carcinogen that can cause cancer.
Only after a face mask has been proven to no longer contain the gas, only then can they be shipped off to be sold to the end-user. So if you wonder why it takes so long for face masks to come back into stock, this is the reason why! Between making sure that you don’t inhale cancer-causing agents to logistic delays, this all contributes to the sudden supply shortage of face masks.
So if you’re going to purchase face masks directly from a factory, you might want to make sure that the face masks have properly been disinfected before use!
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