What is the shelf life of a Surgical Mask?
It’s never too wise to hoard or panic buying and worst, stockpiling on surgical masks since they have a shelf life.
The shelf-like of a surgical mask will depend on the manufacturer's advisory that could be from 3 to 5 years from its production date.
For instance, 3M came out with surgical mask that includes models 1804/1804S, 1860/1860S, 1870, 1870+ with a determined shelf like of 5 year when they will are stored in their original packaging within climatic conditions ranging from -4 °F (-20 °C) to +86 °F (+30 °C) and not exceeding 80% RH.
One factor not to encourage buying more than you need is because storage conditions are a key factor for shelf life too. They must be stored in their original packaging and away from contaminated areas, dust, sunlight, extreme temperatures, excessive moisture, and damaging chemicals
Why does a surgical mask have a shelf life?
It’s common knowledge that anything stored for a longer period of time can be disadvantageous. Anything stored will most likely disintegrate, lessen its performance to its fullest capability and function.
In a matter of time, the structure and the material of a surgical mask have been degraded and it will greatly affect its quality, effectivity, and perfect condition.
This will also discourage you from stockpiling surgical masks since unused disposable face masks past their expiry date must be disposed of because it’s already useless for all its medical components are will no longer take effect and has already lost their effectiveness.
And lastly, a surgical mask has a shelf life because it’s in this time-frame only that its manufacturer can guarantee its 100% potential performance in protecting its user.
After the shelf life has lapsed, the manufacturer no longer has any liability and obligations in the usage of an expired surgical mask.
It’s very critical that products should in the market that includes a surgical mask to have a shelf life. This is a safety assurance for the buying public that what they are purchasing passed all quality requirements as well as in top condition and efficacy.
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