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This application is a service of the Singapore Government.

Health Sciences Authority

Making Informed Decisions When Buying Masks and Respirators

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To help you make informed decisions when buying and using masks and respirators, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) shares our consumer advisory and a set of Frequently Asked Questions on the types of masks and respirators available in the market, their respective purposes, and how to select, wear and discard them.

Consumer Advisory

Surgical masks and respirators provide some degree of protection from respiratory particles only if they are used properly, ie, worn correctly and consistently.  Do not reuse masks/respirators as any used masks/respirators are contaminated.  Proper removal of used and contaminated masks/respirators is also an important step to prevent the spread of virus to your hands, face and other contact surfaces.

Members of the public are reminded to maintain a high standard of personal hygiene. 

  • Good personal hygiene means covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, and washing your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after contact with respiratory secretions (e.g. after sneezing and coughing).
  • If you are wearing a surgical mask/respirator, replace it if you sneeze or cough into it.
  • It is also important to be socially responsible. This means staying home and avoiding crowded places (including trains, buses, offices), putting on a surgical mask and seeing a doctor if you have flu-like symptoms.