I've been curious about face masks with valves. They look pretty bad-ass and one step up from my flimsy medical mask, but some cities are actually banning them. I dug into my Google machine and found an article on Fastcompany.com that laid it out for me.

These masks were originally developed for workers in mines and factories to prevent them from breathing lots of bad stuff into their lungs. As you know, wearing a mask for extended periods of time can get mighty uncomfortable; so one way valves were added that close to filter air that is breathed in, but release allowing air to be breathed out-unfiltered. They weren't designed to protect others from you potentially exhaling Coronavirus droplets and infecting others.

The article went on to say that the whole reason that the CDC started recommending that everyone wear a mask was to help lower the transmission from asymptomatic people. Feeling just fine no longer cuts it. Be a good doobie and protect those around you by wearing a mask that filters whatever you are exhaling.

The CDC even recommends that hospitals not use N95s with valves because they do not protect patients. The N95s used in hospitals don't have the valve, my dad who was a painter has the kind with the valve. They are two different masks for two different purposes.

The valved mask will be more comfortable for you to wear but you are not doing your part and protecting people around you while wearing it. If you've been looking down your nose at home-made cotton masks or the standard blue surgical mask, think again. They both do a much better job at filtering what you breath out.

Save the valve masks for home improvement projects and protect others by masking up without a valve.