Masks are also an issue for psychologists.
Who would have thought in 2019 that face masks could one day become an issue for risk managers? The far-reaching consequences give reason to be precisely informed about the use of face masks.
The protective effect of the FFP2 mask is only guaranteed if it is worn continuously and tightly (i.e. to match the shape of the face and finally on the skin). As part of occupational safety, the tight fit of the mask is ensured by the so-called FIT test.
If FFP2 masks are used correctly, there is increased breathing resistance, which makes breathing difficult. For this reason, an occupational health check-up should be offered before wearing in order to medically assess the risks for the user on an individual basis. In accordance with the requirements of occupational safety, the continuous wearing time of FFP2 masks is limited in healthy people. This minimizes the worker’s stress due to the increased breathing resistance. Light masks give the wearer the subjective feeling of being able to breathe better.
FFP2 masks have so far been used for a specific purpose and in a targeted manner in the context of occupational safety. Therefore, outside of the health care system, studies would have to be carried out on the health, possibly also long-term effects of their use (e.g. in risk groups or children). In studies with health workers, side effects such as breathing difficulties or facial dermatitis as a result of the final tight fit have been described. FFP2 masks should not be used multiple times as intended, as they are usually single-use products.