TIPS TO PROPERLY WEAR FACE MASK IN 2023
But there are rules to wear masks. Follow these tips:
1. Masks should completely cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of the face without gaps.
2. Avoid touching the outer surface of the masks and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol after touching or removing your mask.
3. Change the mask if it gets wet. This reduces the effectiveness and respiratory droplets can leak.
4. Masks should be worn indoors in public spaces. Wearing a mask outdoors will protect you from air pollution as well.
5. There are several types of masks namely cloth, surgical and N-95.
6. The cloth masks recommended are those made of breathable fabric like cotton and cotton blends, tightly woven into two or three layers. These can be washed and reused.
Types of masks
Medical procedure masks or surgical masks are disposable and of non-woven fabric in three layers with a filter in the middle layer. These are single use disposable masks.N-95 masks filter out the smallest particles and are tight fitting. They require “NIOSH” certification and should be used following a ‘fit test’ to ensure that no particles leak. This mask offers the best possible protection against Covid-19 and air pollution. These are disposable masks.
Cloth masks allow small particles to pass through the fibres. This doesn’t mean that they provide ‘zero’ protection against air pollution, but 15 to 30 percent of particles are blocked, so a cloth mask is better than nothing! Pollutants also pass through the gaps of surgical and cloth masks because neither fit well.
Surgical masks are made of tightly woven fibres and if it is held up against sunlight the light does not pass through.
According to Dr Kelkar, N-95 offers the highest protection against Covid-19 and air pollution followed by surgical and cloth masks.
The common belief that wearing a mask makes you sick and you breathe too much carbon dioxide is a myth!
Using an N-95 mask outdoors during vigorous exercise can reduce the performance of athletes due to increased resistance to breathing and result in fatigue.
With the impending gloom and rising levels of air pollution, it is certainly advisable to “kill to birds with one mask”!