The not so short answer is yes, but it depends on which mask you wear.
Many times a product that may not be seen as a health and safety product has a dual function. One may not think of a meat thermometer or vacuum sealer as a health and safety product. It may not be a tool’s primary function, but it can be every bit as valuable to health and safety as a smoke alarm.
Our N99 masks serve both to prevent disease from breathing in too much pollution to preventing the transmission of viruses and bacteria.
Here is a great article from phys.org that discusses how Covid-19 clouds are dispersed with and without the use of face masks. There are myriad arguments on both sides regarding the efficacy of wearing face masks. This doesn’t weigh in on the politics, fortunately, it merely discusses the Physics of Fluids.
The conclusion is that, yes, wearing a mask greatly reduces the volume and distance of a cough cloud. It also noted that an N95 mask is far more effective than a surgical mask. While masks aren’t a panacea and surgical masks are especially ineffective and terrible for the environment, it’s a good idea to wear at least an N95 on a bus or train or other confined public place.
Our previous article entitled: Understanding Hong Kong Air Pollution, went into detail about how we measure the fine particulates of pollution in our air. Aside from viral and bacterial prevention, it’s a good idea to wear an N95 or N99 mask when venturing outside on a heavily hazy day. Fine particulates can also be a source of breathing issues and disease. Before this pandemic, there was always a strong demand for our masks because of Hong Kong’s pollution.
Peek Concepts is committed to selling quality products that are both good for health and safety and good for the environment. Our Cambridge Masks and Dragon Masks are both N99 which stop over 99.7% of particles as small as PM0.3.
Here is another article, from USA Today that explains why wearing at least an N95 mask is your best protection against both transmitting and receiving coronaviruses:
Basically a virus is usually attached to a larger particle and doesn’t float around by itself. N95 masks also capture particles much smaller than .3 microns.
The other added benefit of using a reusable mask is that they are better for the environment than a disposable one. The Cambridge masks can last for 3-6 months before needing to be replaced. Here is an article from the Cambridge Mask Blog about exercising with a mask on. According to the Mayo Clinic, “It’s safe to wear a mask while exercising. New research has shown that your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, oxygen level and time of exhaustion are not significantly affected by wearing a mask during moderate to strenuous aerobic physical activity.”
The Dragon masks have replaceable filters which only need to be changed periodically, depending on usage.
According to THIS ARTICLE FROM OCEANSASIA, a Hong Kong based environmental group, over 1.56 BILLION disposable masks entered the marine environment in 2020.
According to THIS ARTICLE FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, “Globally, 65 billion gloves are used every month. The tally for face masks is nearly twice that—129 billion a month. That translates into 3 million face masks used per minute.”
These ‘disposable’ masks are made of mostly polypropylene, a plastic that can take hundreds of years to degrade, and when they do, they just break down into microplastic fibres.
At 199HK$ they are far more cost effective, safer, and environmentally friendly than breathing in plastic microfibres. As our masks are washable, they are far more hygienic and can also be disinfected with our portable UV-C wand.
Lastly here is a piece on skin conditions due to frequent wearing of masks.
Masks can be breeding grounds for bacteria and molds that may cause skin and respiratory problems. When using a reusable mask it’s important to keep it clean and disinfected.
Unfortunately we are not always near a place to where we can properly wash our mask. A great way to disinfect your masks on the go is with a UV-C wand. Apply these to yours and your family members’ masks periodically, to ensure a clean breathing environment.
In addition to wearing a mask in public places like buses, one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the disease is to regularly check yourselves and your loved ones before gatherings with our V-Chek Covid 19 Rapid Saliva Antigen Test Kits. These test kits have a specificity of 99%.
According to this article in Forbes, this study was able to “show that rapid testing can and does work when coupled with other mitigation measures.” It would only seem like a bit of common sense to check everyone at a party or other gathering. These tests give results in 10 minutes.
Hope this is helpful and informative. Please drop us any feedback or suggestions to hello@peekconcepts.
Stay safe, healthy and informed! Know, don’t guess.