I requested Dr. Marr for supplemental ideas on how to acquire treatment of a respirator mask to maximize its use. Here’s her advice.
Q: How can we make certain our masks hold filtering particles?
Dr. Marr: This skill can be compromised if any component of the mask is bodily destroyed in these types of a way to generate leaks. This could be a tear or hole in the mask, a crease that signifies it doesn’t seal to the experience, or straps that are too free to pull the respirator intently to the experience.
Q: Can a mask get saturated with particles?
Dr. Marr: Individuals could be worried about the respirator “filling up” with particles, this sort of that the filter materials doesn’t operate any longer, but respirators are created to tackle a substantial amount of money of particles and nevertheless manage their filtration ability. Aaron Collins (@masknerd on Twitter) factors out that an N95 is made to tackle 200 milligrams of particles, which would be equivalent to donning it nonstop for 200 times in extremely polluted air this sort of as in Shanghai. The straps or nose bridge will split, the respirator will eliminate its condition, or the respirator will become visibly filthy just before this occurs.
Q: If I’m uncovered to an contaminated person, will my mask be contaminated?
Dr. Marr: It is probable that virus could be on the area of the respirator, and you could touch it and transfer it to your eyes, nose or mouth. To minimize this danger, you should really take care of the respirator by the edges and straps and steer clear of touching the area in front of the nose and mouth. About time — numerous hrs — the virus will die off, so we likely do not have to have to fear about accumulating far more than one particular day’s truly worth of infectious virus on the content. There is a frightening-sounding analyze that reports that the virus survives for 14 times on an N95, but the scientists dripped a massive volume of virus on to the content — like if you deliberately spit on the mask — and taken out it by soaking it in liquid, which will transfer far more than just touching.
Q: So how lengthy do viral particles really survive on a mask?
Dr. Marr: We are learning this question utilizing a a lot more reasonable way of getting aerosolized virus on to an N95, and the virus decays to virtually undetectable ranges in 30 minutes.
Q: What do you feel about the “40 several hours of use” rule?
Dr. Marr: Forty hrs of total use, whether or not in excess of 5 8-hour periods or a bunch of shorter intervals, should be great. The straps might come to be far too free or crack, the respirator may possibly lose its shape, or it may develop into visibly soiled ahead of the 40 hrs are up, in which case you should swap it. I have an N95 that I have worn for two spherical-excursion plane outings totaling 25 in addition hrs and for attending church a few instances, likely to the store a couple situations, and attending a gymnastics fulfill, and it is at last acquiring filthy sufficient — predominantly from rubbing in opposition to my facial area — and shedding its form, these types of that I’m organizing to toss it.
Q: I have found advice to air your masks out in various paper bags, labeled with the day of the week, and to rotate masks every five days. But most persons just toss their masks in a drawer or purse, or cling them on hooks. Does it really make any difference?