Face mask with valve only provides one-way protection — FDA

Published July 18, 2020, 6:58 PM

by Analou de Vera

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend the use of face masks with exhalation valves as it only provides protection to its wearer.

FDA Director-General Rolando Enrique Domingo said that a face mask with a valve only provides “one-way” protection.

“Dapat po full coverage ang ilong at bibig tapos wala pong butas. Kasi po kapag may valve, so kung ikaw ang may suot nun maproprotektahan ka nga pero yun naman pong ibang tao–kung kayo naman ang may sakit–pwede ang ibang tao ay mahawa sa inyo [The nose and mouth should be fully covered. Because when there is a valve —if you are the one wearing it and you are sick —you can infect others],” explained Domingo in a radio interview. 

“Kung infection control po talaga ang pag-uusapan, yung mga may valve ay hindi po para doon [In terms of infection control, a mask with a valve is not for that],” he added. 

Domingo encouraged the public to use surgical face masks or cloth masks.

“Kung sa pang-araw araw na use kahit yung mga cloth mask pinapayagan naman po natin. Two way protection din po iyon… Pero kung talagang sa ospital na at nag-aalaga tayo ng may sakit, gusto po talaga natin medical o surgical grade na mga mask [We recommend the use of a cloth mask. It also provides a two-way protection. But if you are in a hospital or taking care of a sick person, we recommend you use a medical or surgical grade mask],” he said. 

The Medical City Clinic in its Facebook page also discourages the use of such masks.

“While masks with valves are designed to ease exhalation and decrease humidity for the wearer, they do not block transmission of COVID-19 because they allow exhaled air and droplets to escape,” it said. 

The medical institution announced that in all of its branches, it will “not allow patients and companions wearing masks with valves to enter clinic premises.”