Have you ever asked yourself why we are constantly reminded to wear masks in public places and not to recycle disposable masks? Whereas, many people think wearing a mask be it old or new is better than nothing.
However, a new study suggests that wearing a used mask can be less effective at protecting against covid-19 than not wearing one at all. According to the daily mail, researchers from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and California Baptist University found out that, when masks are new, they can filter out nearly three-quarters of tiny particles that linger in the air and are most responsible for infection. But, when used more than once, they filter out just one-quarter of the minuscule droplets because the masks become deformed with each wear. This means that a mask when new, offers good protection but wearing it several times over can be worse than not wearing a mask at all.
According to the scientist, air, which contain tiny aerosols, do not enter the mouth and nose at specific points, but through the entire mask surface at low speeds hence the findings provide evidence for why mask shape should be considered when examining their protection and designing new masks. As the three-layer masks are among the most recommended by health professionals to protect yourself and others from contracting COVID-19, researchers hope that the current preventative measures to curb COVID-19 transmission will be strengthened for instance, choosing a more effective mask, wearing it properly, and avoid using an excessively used or expired surgical mask.