PCP, Makati Med say no to use of copper face masks, DOH clarifies

  • The Philippine College of Physicians and the Makati Medical Center don’t advise the use of copper face masks
  • The Department of Health clarified that while the copper masks are not “medical-grade” they can still help stop the spread of COVID-19
  • DOH said copper face masks are not considered “medical-grade” but can still help against the spread of COVID-19

Could copper face masks protect you against the spread of COVID-19?

Image by PCP via Facebook

Recently, there has been a huge demand for the use of copper face masks as it promises to provide an extra layer of protection due to its alleged antimicrobial property. However, the cause of debate on copper face masks is on the opening at the bottom of the mask or on the chin which some types have.

The Makati Medical Center posted an advisory that masks or respirators with exhalation valves, vents, slits or holes are not allowed inside the medical center. In the photos of the prohibited masks include the copper face mask.

Even The Philippine College of Physicians also released an advisory that included the copper face mask among those they do not recommend. The PCP said their source was from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Their reminder stated, “Face mask should cover your face from the bridge of your nose to under the chin. Masks with vents or exhalation valves are not advised because they allow the unfiltered breath to escape the mask.”

Image by DOH via website/Public Domain Image

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) has issued a statement on the use of copper face masks. According to them, copper face masks are not considered “medical-grade” but can still help against the spread of COVID-19. They didn’t mention anything about the mask having valves.

“FDA has released advisory 2020-1181 which has the list of FDA notified medical face masks. In the said list, the copper mask is not included which means that they are not medical-grade,” the DOH said in a statement.

“Nevertheless, considering that it is still a face mask, it can still prevent the spread of COVID-19 mainly by acting as a physical barrier for droplets when a person emits droplets,” it added.