N95 Masks can be dangerous !


N95 mask is one of the most used protective gear against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that caused COVID-19). But most of us don't know about its efficiency and dangers. Few major thing we are going to discuss here are
  • 300nm is the size of pores in a normal N95 mask, while coronavirus(SARS-CoV-2) ranges from 65 to 125nm. Is it really doing the job ?
  • Wearing N95 mask reduces oxygen supply upto 20%.
  • It also increases the carbon-dioxide concentration in blood.
  • Is it safe for people with heart disease?
  • Can you do a physically hectic activity after wearing N95 mask?
  • How long is it safe to wear such masks?
  • N95 Masks with valves are not safe for others.

The Pores Size

Pores size in a normal N95 mask is around 300nm, while the size of coronavirus is just 65 to 125nm. It does not mean that it can't filter this fatal virus. According to some researches 85% of coronavirus can be blocked by N95 mask. It means that only 15 out of 100 coronavirus can penetrate through it. So even if it can't fully protect you from virus, it can definitely reduce the risk to a great extent. Nobody knows how much quantity of this virus is needed to make you sick, so N95 might be saving you 100% from this virus.

Reduction of Oxygen supply

Yes, wearing an N95 mask can reduce oxygen supply by 5 to 20%. A healthy human being can bear this shortage under normal circumstances, but for how long is the real question. You can check it yourself. If you start feeling tired under normal conditions, or shortness of breath then it might be a sign of reduced oxygen level in body or increase of carbon dioxide concentration.

Is N95 safe for people with Heart Disease?

As N95 mask causes oxygen shortage, our body try to cope with it by increasing the heart beat and breathing rate, which also increases our body temperature. These changes in a heart patient can be dangerous. So we advise such people to not wear N95 masks for longer duration or you may consult a doctor for some other alternative.

Physically Hectic Activity after wearing N95 mask

Some incidents have been reported where people running or jogging with masks have collapsed or even died. Still research is being done if it due to mask or not. But even if we look at a general running activity, then you must have noticed that breathing rate increase while running/jogging as our body remand more oxygen to get the energy, but N95 masks can create a shortage upto 20% in that demand, which is a large gap. So doing a hectic activity with mask-ON can be dangerous. Again we would suggest you to listen to your body while running/jogging with a mask, and remove it immediately if you feel complications. Its better to do spot-point running at home without any mask till this COVID-19 era is over.

N95 Masks with valves

All N95 masks are not equal. Some of them come with valves, which are actually one-way valves, that filter only the air you are inhaling, but not what you are exhaling. Such masks may protect you from others but put others at risk when you sneeze or cough. If a COVID-19 patient wears the "N95 mask with value"then it is equivalent to not covering mouth as all of his/her water droplets will be expelled out through valve. Some countries have banned usage of such masks as they put others at risk. It should be our moral duty not to wear such masks. 

However N95 masks reduce the COVID19 infection rate by 75%.  But wearing it also causes shortage of oxygen upto 20 percent. Their usage during a hectic activity is also controversial, and usage of N95 mask with valve is immoral. Several countries have recommended usage of simple cloth or face mask and leave the N95 mask for healthcare professionals. Don't wear a mask when you are at safer places like home and try not to wear the masks for longer durations.
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