Have you ever thought about what you are washing your mask with?
This past year has been a lot different for many of us. We have had to make many changes in our every day lives.
One of the biggest changes we have made is MASKS. Masks have seemed to become a new part of our every day life and wardrobe. Masks can come in a variety of colors and patterns, and even in different materials, like cloth or disposable ones.
Masks have also become very controversial, for it is debatable whether wearing a mask actually helps stop the spread of viruses or not. Here I will instead be talking about the germs and bacteria that is accumulating on the masks we have been wearing, and the importance of cleaning them correctly.
We already know that we should be washing our masks often, in order to keep them clean and to stop us from breathing in germs and bacteria, but have you ever thought about how and what you are washing your mask with?
Let’s start off with artificial fragrances and the danger they present to our health. Artificial, or synthetic, fragrances are “derived from petroleum (crude oil). They include benzene derivatives (carcinogenic), aldehydes, toluene and many other known toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions,” as explained by holistic health coach, Annie Price, in this article here.
All these chemicals are extremely harmful to us, yet are found in everyday products, such as shampoo, soaps, lotions, and laundry soap. Yes, even laundry soap! Now, think about how you wash your masks. You want them to be clean, of course, and to smell nice, so you use your favorite laundry soap and fabric softener.
Now, think about all those chemicals that are making it smell that way. Think about your young, growing children breathing in these chemicals on a daily basis. With some kids now back in school, they are wearing their masks for 5-6 hours a day, breathing in those chemicals for hours. And those chemicals, as previously stated, are known to cause birth defects, central nervous system disorders, allergic reactions, and even cancer.
Laundry soap is filled with toxic chemicals that not only hurts our environment, but it hurts us and our children, as well. Some of the most notable brands are even filled with toxins.
As a mother with a child that has suffered from many health issues throughout his young life, I have learned quickly, and I do my best to eliminate our use of toxic everyday materials. I realize many wonderful parents are just not aware of the dangers of these products that we use everyday.
Many parents are doing their best to keep their children safe by wearing masks, but it’s also important to be safe when washing your masks.
Here are a few tips:
- Wash masks alone, not with other clothing. This will help avoid lint from accumulating on masks, so you and your children are not breathing in or getting lint in your mouths.
- Wash masks in hot water, without fabric softener. Use a laundry soap with less chemicals and toxic ingredients. Always make sure to keep in mind any allergies you may have to certain oils and ingredients. The less amount of ingredients in something, the better it probably is. Always research the ingredients, too.
- Use very little soap. I sometimes rinse it twice.
- Wash masks daily! Send extra ones in case they drop it, or in case the first one starts to build up moisture.
- Be careful using mask necklaces. They are wonderful for keeping kids from dropping their masks during times they take them off, like during lunch. However, they do pose a choking hazard, especially if they are outside at recess. Try to find ones with a break-away safety clasp, if you are going to use them.
- If you use disposable masks, please research what they’re made with and what it may have on it.
I am not a doctor, just a mom that wants to warn other parents about the health risks masks may possess. Please, do your own research about masks, too. Research how safe and effective they are, what they are made with, and what you are using to wash them.
I hope you found this helpful.
Blog Written by Lori Piwok
Mom and owner of a Martial Arts School for Children.