How To Wear Masks In Winter?

December 11,2021

Since autumn and winter, especially with the beginning of heating in winter, air pollution has increased and smog days have appeared frequently. As the COVID-19 is entering the normalization of prevention and control work, how do we choose to wear masks in severely polluted weather?




Features of COVID-19


The COVID-19 belongs to the beta genus of coronaviruses. It has an envelope, round or elliptical particles, and is often pleomorphic, with a diameter of about 60-140nm. It can be released into the air through droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, and talking. The water in the droplet evaporates and becomes a solid droplet core with a diameter of about 1-5μm, which can be suspended in the air to form a stable aerosol.


Anti-virus masks establish physical barriers to block viruses and bacteria on virus-containing droplet nuclei and suspended particles in the air, thereby reducing the risk of infection.


Features of smog


Smog, as the name implies, is fog and haze. Smog is a general expression of the excessive content of various suspended particulate matter in the atmosphere. PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic equivalent diameter less than or equal to 2.5 microns) is considered to be the "primordial culprit" of smog weather.


Anti-smog masks filter out particulate matter in the air pollution environment so that the concentration of fine particulate matter in the inhaled air (that is, the PM2.5 concentration value) is ≤75μg/m3.


How to choose masks on smog days?


The common masks on the market are as follows: ordinary cotton masks, disposable medical masks, medical-surgical masks, and N95 / KN95 masks.


  • Ordinary cotton mask: it may have a certain blocking effect on ordinary dust and large particles, but for smog and PM2.5 or the protection of microbial particles such as bacteria and viruses is not enough. It can not effectively prevent infection and smog.


  • Disposable medical masks and medical-surgical masks: they can prevent respiratory tract infection to a certain extent, but can not prevent smog.


  • KN95 / N95 mask: under the test conditions specified in the standard, the minimum efficiency of filtering non-oily particles (such as dust, acid mist, paint mist, microorganism, etc.) is 95%, which can prevent smog. When selecting N95 masks, try to choose N95 masks without breathing valves.


Smog weather also needs to pay attention to:


👉Open windows less in smog weather to reduce the entry of external environmental particles into the room. You can choose to open the window for a short time when there is more sunlight and fewer pollutants at noon. Families with conditions can use air purifiers to reduce indoor particulate pollution.


👉Avoid exercising on smog days. You can change to morning exercise after the sun is out, or you can change to indoor exercise.


👉Try to stay away from the road. The pollutant concentration is highest during peak hours and evenings when large vehicles enter the urban area.


👉Eat a light diet, drink plenty of water, eat more fruits and vegetables, and supplement vitamins appropriately.




  1. Choose a mask that suits you


Choose masks marked with KN95, N95, and above standards. In addition to considering the protective effect, the selection should also be made in consideration of factors such as face shape and comfort.


  1. Master the correct wearing method


The mask should be worn according to the method recommended by the mask manual to confirm airtightness. However, in children, pregnant women, the elderly, patients with chronic diseases, and patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, after wearing anti-smog masks, the respiratory resistance increases, and it may be difficult to breathe due to lack of oxygen. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor before wearing masks with breathing valves.


  1. It is safe to replace in time


The use time of the mask can be adjusted according to the degree of air pollution. After wearing a mask for a long time, some particulate matter is adsorbed on the outside of the mask, which will cause an increase in breathing resistance. In addition, the inside of the mask will also absorb bacteria and viruses in the exhaled air. Therefore, it is necessary to replace the mask promptly according to the respiratory resistance and sanitary conditions of the mask.