General, Research, Technology

What will happen if you do not change your medical mask for a long time?

A medical mask, even homemade, is consideredthe best defense against coronavirus. Today it is not only a means of protection, but also a kind of "pass", without which it is impossible to enter any public place. After all, masks not only protect people from infection, but also prevent the spread of the virus if a person is already sick, but he has no symptoms yet. It is recommended to change the medical mask every two hours, even if it is made by hand from fabric. But many neglect this rule and do not even realize what danger they thereby expose themselves and others to. Recently, American scientists conducted an experiment and said that a terrible thing can happen when wearing the same mask for a day or more. Yes, after reading the published information, the desire to carry a pack of new masks with you arises by itself.

Many talk about the need to change the mask every 2 hours, but few explain why this is necessary

Interesting fact: Medical masks familiar to us were invented inlate 19th century. French surgeon Paul Berger suggested that doctors risk transmitting diseases to patients along with saliva when talking, and therefore developed protective masks.

Danger of old protective masks

In fact, the need to replace medicalmask has been explained long ago. It's just that this information somehow does not reach all people. Store-bought or self-made face masks are essentially multi-layer filters. This filter does not guarantee complete protection against coronavirus, but prevents particles from entering the respiratory tract. In addition, if a person is already infected, but does not know about it, the mask slows down the spread of the virus.

At the moment, medical masks are no longer in short supply and in some public places they are given out free of charge.

In general, masks in our difficult time are veryuseful. But when worn for a long time, they become dangerous. The fact is that during breathing we exhale moist and warm air. A moist and warm environment forms inside the mask, which is ideal for bacteria to multiply. If you wear the same mask for a long time, it turns out that a person literally wears a capsule with potentially dangerous microbes on his face.

At the moment, in public places, masks can only be removed while eating.

And if a person is in a room withpotentially infected people, there is a second danger. The outer surface of the mask becomes wet over time and begins to attract dust and other small particles. Viruses can accumulate on the outside of the mask and it becomes ineffective. And if you touch this mask and do not wash your hands, you can contract the disease through the mucous membranes of the body. Not only does the mask “clog up” over time and stop working as a filter, but it also becomes a cozy place for dangerous particles.

See also: Why do valve masks not protect against viruses?

Why change the mask?

Recently, American scientists came to the conclusion thatnot changing the mask after long-term wearing is even worse than not wearing it at all. Some people are convinced of the opposite and believe that "a dirty mask is better than nothing at all." Especially for such people, scientists made a reminder that a dirty mask is not able to stop particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers. They made such a conclusion by creating a computer model of a person with a three-layer medical mask stretched over his face. Virtual simulation has shown that tiny droplets in the air can settle on the face, upper respiratory tract and lungs. The new mask is capable of repelling them, but the old one decreases the air flow rate and can let viral particles inside.

If you have a homemade mask, carry a few with you, change it regularly, and send it to the wash in the evening

Also, scientists have proven that the more in the masklayers the better. Even the largest Pithovirus viruses are around 1.5 micrometers in size. But the pores in one layer of the medical mask have a diameter of about 80 micrometers, that is, they can easily pass the virus. Therefore, there should be several layers in the mask, ideally 3. After all, if there are more of them, a person will have difficulty breathing. Even if viral particles pass through one layer of the mask, in the next they will collide with other particles and chaos, known as Brownian motion... In this mess, viruses are more likely to fall into mask traps.

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Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic on ourthe site has published many articles about protective masks. Follow this link and read about everything there is to know about them. Also, my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova told in detail how to sew a face mask with her own hands.