Today when we talk about masks we think viruses, but did you know we need to wear masks not only for viruses but also to protect our lungs from the pollution that is destroying the environment as well as your lungs. This pollution is called haze. Its fine dust particles, a light vapour and smoke with a cloudy appearance. The haze can be dangerous and can severely affect your heart and your lungs, if you are not taking proper care. People with asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and heart troubles should think of wearing a mask to protect themselves from the haze.
The N95 masks
When talking about masks that can protect you from the haze, how can one forget N95 masks? Yes, it’s true that if you have respiratory distress because of haze, then an N95 mask can come to your rescue. The word N95 means that these masks are good enough to filter out 95% of the fine particles of the haze. The N95 masks are not only good for virus protection, but if you are seeking protection from the polluted environment, then these N95 masks are worth it. The price factor might pinch a bit, but these masks do last long and the protection is excellent.
Why consider N95 masks?
The N95 masks are designed to seal against the face. This is the main reason why the wearer doesn’t inhale contaminated air. The air that the wearer breathes passes through the fiber of the mask that acts as a filter. The haze particles are 2.5 microns or even smaller and studies have shown that the N95 masks are good enough to offer protection as they are efficient against the fine particles that are around 0.1-0.3 microns. These masks are more effective against particles that are 0.75 microns or even larger. So, the answer is ‘yes’, the N95 mask can protect you from the haze and it will work with 100% efficiency and accuracy.
Surgical Masks – Not for the haze
The surgical mask unfortunately does not offer protection from the haze. Yes, that’s the truth. You can wear the surgical mask and keep yourself at peace, but dust particles will still find a way to enter your nasal passage and cause respiratory distress. The surgical mask helps to filter the droplets coming out of your mouth when you sneeze or cough. It doesn’t protect the wearer, but it protects others around the wearer. Therefore, your surgical mask is just a false sense of security and does nothing to protect you from dust, haze and even minute viruses. However, if you are healthy and fit, then a surgical mask can work well for you, but it’s not the case for people who have chronic respiratory and heart ailments. Even the elderly, the kids and the pregnant women should consider wearing N95 masks to protect themselves from the haze.
Last, but not the least, wear a mask after you clean and sanitize your hands properly. Make sure it has fitted you correctly and completely covers your nose and mouth.