Should you wear a pollution mask in UK?
According to health practitioners, should you wear a pollution mask? Well, the answer is yes. This is because it’s an effective, economical, and practical way to prevent inhalation of dangerous particulate matter and viruses. This action can only be achieved if the appropriate veneers are in the required size, fabric, and purpose they are meant to be.
In the United Kingdom, COVID19 has infected more than 22.3 million and caused more than 178,000 deaths. Even though face coverings are not mandatory by law, it remains a requirement in infection prevention control (IPC).
Wearing them correctly over the nose and mouth is essential since they act as barriers to infectious air.
What Causes Air Pollution
In the United Kingdom, particulate emission comes from;
- Burning of wood and coal in domestic households, adds up to 38%
- Roads and transportation sector, contributes up to 12%
- Solvent and industrial activities are to be blamed for 13%
When to Wear Pollution Masks
Donning a mask is experienced in different circumstances like in hospitals; by health care workers, in industries, and for personal use.
This can be as a result of laws like occupational health and safety. Officers also during a health crisis like a pandemic require people to wear masks. During a pandemic, children, the elderly, immunocompromised, and pregnant and lactating women must cover their mouths and nose. Since they are at risk due to low immune systems.
Types of Masks
There are different types of face coverings that offer protection against air pollutants. They are sold in pharmaceuticals and shops. They include;
- Respirators which includes N95 and elastomeric
- Clothe masks
5 Reasons Why You Should Wear A Mask
The air we breathe has a composition of dangerous particulate matter that is toxic to our health in one way or another. It is due to a broad range of biological sources and human activities. The justifications include;
- Offers Protection against Dust Particles
Pollution mask, if worn correctly and adequately, can reduce allergic reactions in those with allergy and asthma conditions. It acts as an obstruction in preventing particles like fine dust and pollens from traveling to the lungs.
Those with problems and difficulty in breathing should avoid wearing masks at all times. They should only wear them if necessary for example, when interacting with a crowd and on dusty grounds. This is because they cloak air filters, therefore, reducing the quality of air inhaled.
- Suppression of Viral Transmission
Surgical and clothing covering reduces transmission by 70%, according to science. An example of an airborne virus is a coronavirus that has caused a global pandemic. The virus is transmitted via saliva droplets that are suspended in the air.
The strain can be inhaled through the nose or ingested via the mouth. The virus causes severe ailment that affects the lungs, kidneys, heart, and liver. The effects have a more significant impact that can lead to cognitive dysfunction and, in worst cases, death.
In this case masks reduce the higher risk of such severe illnesses due to their ability to suppress transmission and save lives. Complementing the wearing of masks with other simple precautions is advised—they lower respiratory tract discomforts.
- Saves on Medical Costs
Wearing pollution masks is a response to prevent illnesses and dangerous gases. In this case, it lowers disease rates and hospitalisation, saving direct and indirect medical costs.
- They are used as Personal Protective Equipment
Masks are used as personal protective equipment in various sectors to protect workers from dangerous substances in the air. For example, respirators, N95. In the metal industry, welding and cutting can produce various types of metal smoke, sparks, and dust, all of which can cause respiratory problems if not protected with a mask.
- Protection from Hazardous Gases
The eyes and the respiratory system might be irritated by inhaling exhaust fumes from a car. Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, is found in the exhaust of gasoline-powered engines. When exposed to diesel exhaust for an extended period, coughing and shortness of breath may occur and, in disastrous circumstances, lung cancer.
Tackling pollution requires strategic and multiple synergetic approaches. Encouraging self-prevention using these masks is the most practical and modest implementable action at negligible cost.
This study has the potential to educate and emphasise on importance, advantages, and results of donning a pollution mask. In significant cases, everyone is urged to adhere to the requirements for their safety. In that case, wearing a mask to deter illness and disasters is high leading to a safe setting.