|Are surgical masks effective against pollution?|
|Friday, 25 April 2008, Written by Trouni|
You might have seen many Chinese wearing surgical masks in the streets to protect themselves against pollution and you probably already asked yourself: are these masks really effective against air pollution?
These masks are not suited against pollution and the main reason is simple: these masks are designed to protect others from droplets you might spread.When these masks are tested, the filtration is measured from the air you exhale and not the one you breathe in. Even if they can slightly reduce the risk of infections through droplets, they are definitely not a suitable solution against air pollution.
Quoting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
”Facemasks are loose-fitting, disposable masks that cover the nose and mouth. These include products labeled as surgical, dental, medical procedure, isolation, and laser masks.
If you are sick during a flu pandemic you should definitely wear a facemask to prevent the spreading of the virus. But otherwise, if you are seeking effective protection against a polluted environment or a flu pandemy, you will definitely need a respiratory mask.
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