I asked Dr. Marr for additional tips on how to care for the respirator to get the most out of it. Here is her advice.
Q: How can we make sure our masks always filter out particles?
Dr. Marr: This ability can be compromised if any part of the mask is physically damaged in a way that would create a leak. This could be a tear or hole in the mask, a crease that means the mask is not sticking to the face, or the straps are too loose to pull the mask close to the face.
Q: Can the mask be saturated with particles?
Dr. Marr: People may worry about respirators being “filled up” with particles, to the point where the filter material doesn’t work anymore, but respirators are designed to handle large amounts of particles and still maintain their capacity. their filtering. Aaron Collins (@masknerd on Twitter) indicates that the N95 is designed to handle 200 milligrams of particles, the equivalent of wearing it non-stop for 200 days in very polluted air like the one in Shanghai. The straps or bridge of the nose will break, the respirator will lose its shape, or the respirator will become visibly dirty before this happens.
Q: If I come into contact with an infected person, will my mask become contaminated?
Dr. Marr: It is possible that the virus could be on the surface of the mask, and you could touch it and pass it on to your eyes, nose, or mouth. To reduce this risk, you should handle the respirator with the edges and straps and avoid touching the area in front of the nose and mouth. Over time – a few hours – the virus dies, so we may not need to worry about a build-up of infectious virus worth more than a day’s worth of documents. this is a Research sounds scary reported that the virus lasted for 14 days on the N95, but the researchers dropped a large amount of the virus on the material – like if you intentionally spit on a mask – and removed it by soaking it in liquid, this will transmit more than touch.
Q: So how long do virus particles actually survive on the mask?
Dr. Marr: We’re working on this question using a more realistic way of introducing aerosolized viruses into the N95, and the virus decays to near-undetectable levels in 30 minutes.
Q: What do you think of the “40 hours of usage” rule?
Dr. Marr: A total of forty hours of use, whether more than five eight-hour periods or a series of shorter periods, is fine. The straps may be too loose or broken, the respirator may lose its shape, or may become visibly dirty before the 40 hours are up, in which case you should replace the respirator. I have an N95 that I have worn for two round trip plane trips totaling 25 hours and go to church a few times, to the store a few times and attend a fitness meeting, and finally it got dirty enough – mostly from rubbing it in my face – and lost its shape, that I was about to throw it away.
Q: I have seen advice to put your mask in multiple paper bags, labeled with the day of the week, and rotate the mask every 5 days. But most people just throw their masks in a drawer or purse, or hang them on a hook. Does it really matter?
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/27/well/live/reusing-respirator-masks-covid.html How long can you wear N95, KN95 and KF94 masks?