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Exhalation Valves: Good or Bad?

Have you noticed those little circle or square one-piece valves appearing on face masks?  They sometimes look sleek, high-tech, and ultra-functional.  They are perfect for outdoor exercise, but not good for protecting others around you.

When a user breathes in, pathogens cannot get in; however, when the user breathes out, the valve opens so the exhalation leaves the mask.  A potential benefit is that the mask doesn't get as hot and moisture is reduced.  We were tempted to include these in our mask design at first.  It's not difficult to implement and we have the capabilities and sourcing to do it.

The problem is that they are functional for the person wearing it, but bad for others around them.  The whole goal of a cloth face mask covering is to help block particles from spraying onto others.

Some cities are actually banning exhalation valves from being used.  For more information, please check out these helpful articles:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90496717/what-is-a-mask-valve-and-why-are-cities-banning-them

https://bbarsf.com/blog/2020/4/25/avoid-masks-with-exhalation-valves-heres-why