Face shields are a piece of protective equipment devices that are used by workers belonging to multiple industries, including medical, dental, and veterinary. They protect the facial area from harmful splashes and sprays of body fluids. They are breathable, provide optical clarity and come in a variety of forms. They can be disposable or reusable, but all extend below the chin to cover the face and provide maximum protection.

Understanding their importance and guidelines of use is necessary if you work in a sector that continuously exposes you to harmful liquids. Here are the ways a face shield can protect you from airborne particles and maximize your safety.

They Provide Eye Protection:

Unlike face masks that only cover the mouth and nose, face shields provide comprehensive protection. They fully cover the wearer’s entire face and also protect the eyes. This ensures that water droplets containing pathogens or viruses cannot directly contact the wearer. Moreover, if these face shields are worn with face masks, they can provide the highest degree of protection.

Add a Layer of Protection Between You and Others:

Face shields are usually fabricated with polycarbonate, which is a material that totally restricts the passage of germs. Hence it creates a protective barrier between you and others, specifically when they cough or sneeze.

Help You Avoid Touching Your Face:

Face shields can constantly remind wearers to prevent touching their eyes, face, or hair. As a result, this will prevent any bacteria or water droplets on their hands from reaching and contaminating their face.

Materials Used to Make Face Shields:

Face shields contain various materials in their composition that provide both transparency and durability. The most common materials that most face shields are predominantly fabricated with include polycarbonate, plastic, and acrylic. Plastic is a lightweight material that offers maximum optical visibility.

  • Acrylic is another popular choice for the manufacturing of face shields due to its durability, impact resistance, and transparency.
  • It ensures the highest optical clarity while offering maximum protection against harmful pathogens and droplets.
  • Polycarbonate is another manufacturing compound for face shields. It is well-known for its tensile strength and durability. Face shields made with this material are relatively more rigid and have optimum impact resistance.
  • This material offers outstanding transparency, making it the best choice for people who work in settings that require a higher degree of protection.
  • However, the choice of material in the manufacturing of face shields is usually based on components like the desired level of protection, intended use, and the need for reusability.
  • With a versatile range of materials, face shields encompass several benefits. They create a robust barrier against airborne diseases while ensuring maximum visibility and comfort for wearers.

Different Types of Face Shields:

There are multiple types of face shields available that serve different needs. They can either be reusable or disposable. Reusable face shields are prepared from resistant, highly reliable, and durable materials. Plus, they can be easily cleaned and disinfected, making them a suitable choice for long-term use.

On the other hand, disposable face shields are convenient and often created with relatively delicate and lightweight materials. These shields are preferred in high-risk environments and are specifically designed for single-time use, offering high levels of hygiene.

Moreover, face shields also come in a variety of sizes and designs to offer additional comfort and suit every kind of face shape. Some common features of face shields typically include anti-fogging coating, elastic straps, and flexible headbands. Before going for a reusable or disposable option, always choose the best quality shield. That is suitable for your work setting and can deliver the greatest level of safety.

Cleaning & Disinfecting Guidance for Face Shields:

Here are some common guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your face shields in order to maximize their use.

  • Use a simple alcohol wipe or wash your face shield with soap to make it contaminant-free.
  • In order to prevent scratches, you can also soak your face shield in warm water.
  • For maximum disinfection, you should add a liquid dish detergent and let the soapy water disperse all over its surface.
  • After that, submerge the shield in clear water and dry it with the help of a microfiber cloth.

Some people think that a disinfectant spray is necessary for face shields in order to fully clean them. But such products usually leave residues on your shield’s surface. Therefore, a 70% alcohol wipe is usually the best option for your face shield, and it will also keep plastic surfaces clear. Also, try to follow the manufacturer’s instructions while disinfecting specialty face shields. However, face shields are fabricated with multiple types of plastics, and over time, they become brittle or unclear despite cleanings. In such cases, replace your face shield with a new one.

What Not To Do::

In order to maximize the longevity of your face shields:

  • Avoid using household cleaners containing ammonia to clean your shield surface. This is because such products have the potential to damage plastic surfaces resulting in permanent damage to your shield’s optical visibility
  • You should also not use any type of gritty cleaners, including toothpaste.
  • Prevent the use of paper towels to dry the surface of your shields, as they can scratch them

Wearing Your Face Shield Correctly:

Like face masks, while wearing a face shield, you should also follow proper guidelines. They should be worn and removed in the correct way. In addition to that, every kind of face shield, be it reusable or disposable, must cover your entire face. It should also have slight inward curves to resist water droplets from reaching the wearer’s face. Moreover, you should always buy the correct size of shield that can extend below your chin.

While taking off a face shield, tilt your head, grab its strap, and pull it over your head. If it is a disposable one, dump it instantly.

How to Choose the Right Face Shield?

Look for the type of face shields that:

  • Have the ability to protect against specific workplace hazards.
  • Fit properly and are fully comfortable to wear.
  • Provide the best optical vision.
  • Are durable and cleanable.
  • Allow unrestricted functioning and movement.

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