Updated: Dec 27, 2021
Is it okay to re-use face mask? Do you want to know how frequently you should change your face mask or your N95 mask? WHO recommend that you should change your face mask after every 4 hours! If this is true, we are looking at billions of masks going as waste. And there are face mask for men or face mask for women etc. considering such repetition, huge pile of waste is getting ready to haunt us! #facemask #surgicalfacemask #virus #covidprotection
Now the question is whether we should re-use face mask or not! To understand this, a test was conducted by few volunteers in Smartair, where they wore a regular 3 layered face mask for 40 hours for 40 days. After this, a test was conducted in a scientific manner to check whether these face masks are still effective in filtering harmful substances or not.
The normal expectations are that the masks would get chocked after repeated use as pollution particles would fill in the gaps of the fabric and would choke them but it was not the same as per expectations. After use, the fabric got a bit lose leaving better breathability and longevity of the face mask.
After the experiment and a scientific test, it was proven that face masks are fine to be reused as their strength remains but at the same time we should be careful in following hygiene habits:
1. Ensure that face masks are not kept on dirty surfaces
2. Proper drying to be done so that any bacteria development on the mask surface is arrested
3. If you’re sick, don’t use the face ask again as the bacteria may impact you repeatedly
Surgical masks can be reused for even 40 days and keeps their strength in capturing particles as per initial claim.