Coronavirus has, in literal sense, changed the face of every country in 2020 and nothing sells more than face masks today – whether you are in New York, New Delhi, London or anywhere.
And so it came as a shock when there were reports of face masks sold by high street retailers in the UK being unsafe.
15 common face masks available on the e-commerce platform as well as on high streets were, reportedly, found to have worrying disparities in their effectiveness on being tested.
The testing showed that these masks were letting through 93 per cent of particles and that’s by every standard highly unsafe.
The testing was done by Which? – A consumer watchdog.
While the highest rated face masks – as per the testing report – filtered 99 per cent particles, the worst one could filter ‘shocking’ 7 per cent particles.
The ‘Termin8 lightweight breathable face covering’ let through 6 times as many particles as any other reusable face covering.
Similarly, the ‘Etiquette face covering’ filtered only 7 per cent particles and to make it worse has a pungent smell when wearing. Sadly these are getting sold by fashion retailers.
Notably, Asda’s ‘White Patterned face mask’ too received a ‘don’t buy’ rating after it was found to filter only one-third of particles.
Interestingly, the recently launched ‘Great British Designer’ face masks – John Lewis had launched these masks from brands like Mulberry and Liam Hodges in July 2020 – got good recommendation from Which?
It needs to be now seen how the UK retailers and the Government respond to the findings.