Face shields are a necessity in many professions and for a variety of tasks in the workplace or at home. OSHA requires the use of face shields when workers are exposed to liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gasses or vapors, or potentially hazardous infectious aerosols.
To be most effective in stopping the viral spread, a face shield should extend to below the chin. It should also cover the ears and “there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece,” the Iowa team members said.
Shields have a number of advantages over masks, they added. First of all, they are endlessly reusable, simply requiring cleaning with soap and water or common disinfectants. Shields are usually more comfortable to wear than masks, and they form a barrier that keeps people from easily touching their own faces.
When speaking, people sometimes pull down a mask to make things easier — but that isn’t necessary with a face shield. And “the use of a face shield is also a reminder to maintain social distancing, but allows visibility of facial expressions and lip movements for speech perception,” the authors pointed out.