Amid the rapid spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe, researchers have stressed that it's time to encourage people to wear face masks as a precautionary measure on the grounds that we have little to lose and potentially something to gain.
Professor Trisha Greenhalgh at the University of Oxford and colleagues said despite limited evidence, masks "could have a substantial impact on transmission with a relatively small impact on social and economic life."
"Masks are simple, cheap, and potentially effective. We believe that wearing both in the home (particularly by the person showing symptoms) and also outside the home in situations where meeting others is likely (for example, shopping, public transport), they could have a substantial impact on transmission with a relatively small impact on social and economic life," said researchers.
In a recent study that was published in the journal 'Chemical and Engineering News' mentioned how researchers have connected air pollution to dementia, autism, and a few other neurological disorders. Outdoor air pollution has become a fact in our lives today. However, both in children and adults, short- and long-term exposure to air pollution may lead to reduced lung functioning, respiratory infection, and aggravated asthma. When a pregnant woman is exposed to air pollution it may pose severe threats like low birth weight, pre-term birth and small gestational air births.
Recent studies have shown that there has been 11% rise in the COVID-19 deaths due to bad air quality. Therefore, to tackle both COVID-19 virus and the air pollution, one needs to wear a mask which is suitable for both.
What are the suitable masks?
Experts suggest that N95 masks which contain a respiratory valve should be used by the medical professionals who are at a greater risk of coming across germs. However, for normal use people can use a good-grade surgical or cloth mask that can help them keep pollution and COVID at a bay. It is recommended that you use disposable masks which properly cover your mouth and nose and are not loose. If you carry FFP1 masks they will be ideal as it can save you from the air pollution.
Which masks are not suitable?
N95 masks are not very good choice if used for long. They will neither be comfortable nor they will be of any use if you are not wearing them properly. Also, these days there are different kinds of masks available in the market to suit them with your dress. However, beware of the masks which have embriodery and sequins as they might have too many holes and the ones which have holes can be unsafe. On the other hand, people should also keep away from valved masks as they can be effective in saving you from the air pollution but can't save you from COVID-19 virus
With inputs from IANS.