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What Are Face Shields Used For?

Jan. 18, 2023

Face shields are thin plastic coverings that sit in front of the face and block droplets from breathing, coughing, and sneezing. Although COVID-19 is known to be at least somewhat airborne, these particles are the primary cause of virus transmission, making shields and face shields the primary line of defense against community transmission. 

Face shields are most effective when worn in conjunction with a face shield that blocks larger moisture aerosol particles, such as those produced when coughing or sneezing. This protection is particularly important for essential workers who are exposed to potentially positive cases in close proximity or for extended periods of time.

However, face shields are not limited to essential workers, but can be used by others as well. Because they are affordable and reusable, they are particularly useful for filling the PPE shortage.

Types of face shields

The most common type of shield for clear plastic face shields is the simple headband shield. These shields consist of a flexible clear plastic sheet attached to the forehead portion of the headband. The headband is usually padded to make it more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Face Shield

Face Shield

Benefits of face shields

The face shields offer many key benefits to the wearer, including

Virus protection: Face shields prevent airborne particles from coming into contact with the face, including the eyes, where other PPE is often unprotected. The shield also limits facial contact, so the wearer does not transfer viral particles to the face, which can rapidly enter the body.

Reusable: The face shield can be safely disinfected, so a single shield provides continuous protection.

Comfortable: The face shield is lightweight, padded and breathable, so it can be worn for hours without discomfort. The shield also does not cause glasses to fog up, a common complaint associated with shields.

What are face shields used for?

The most critical application for faceshields is in the medical industry. Frontline healthcare workers use face shields to limit exposure to infectious droplets, layering the shield with a face shield to provide maximum protection. Face shields can also help protect scarce PPE resources such as N95. Face shields may also prove beneficial in environments such as

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