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Health

Do Face Masks Protect Against Pollution?

Masks are used to reduce transmission that comes with air and is used to save a life. It is also used to prevent spreading of any spreading that can be caused by one person to other. There are various types of masks for various uses. UVMask is ideal for anyone who wants to keep their breathing safe from any potential viruses or bacteria. UVMask is a mask that uses ultraviolet light to sterilize air. It has been developed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a mask in protecting consumers from harmful pollutants and viruses that are easily spread.

Risks and risk reduction:

Air pollution is the mixture of small particles and gases. The gases mostly include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), these gases can have a harmful effect on the human body but we should be more concerned about those tiny particles that come with air. Their size can be smaller than 2.5 microns.

Facemasks can be effective in reducing exposure to air pollution, but the ability to reduce the exposure to pollution depends upon the type of pollutant, the mask, and how you use it. Every mask that is made is assigned with a protection factor that is the percentage of a pollutant that cannot be removed by the mask. For example- if the protection factor of your mask is 10 that mean your mask can filter only 10 percent of pollutants if your mask fits perfectly.

If you are buying a mask that can decrease the exposure to air pollution then never opt for a simple paper dusk mask because these masks are totally useless in preventing air pollution. The mask that uses N-95 respirators can be effective in decreasing the exposure of fine dust particles because they have a protection factor of 5 percent means they can filter about 5% of particles.

The effectiveness of masks falls when the particles are smaller than 0.3microns. Bacteria’s are larger in size but the virus and the dust particles that are formed by motor-vehicle emissions are smaller and the N-95 will not be able to filter such tiny particles. The masks that are combined with activated charcoal can be useful to reduce these tiny particles. These masks can be expensive and before you try to buy them ensure that what type of gases these masks filter and how effective they are.

Considerations and limitations:

Many people will feel difficulty in wearing a facemask to lessen the air pollution because it can be uncomfortable, it can form breathing problems, or they feel claustrophobic.

A face mask is only effective if it fits your face perfectly and provides a good seal over your mouth and nose. If you have a beard or unshaved face then it will be hard for you to fit your mask around the nose and mouth.

So, rather than saying that a face mask protects against pollution, you can say that a mask works effectively to reduce exposure to air pollution.

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James Patterson

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