The director-General of health service, ministry of health, was warned against the inappropriate use od N95 mask, especially those contain respiratory valves which will aid to the breathability.
The use of valved respirator N95 mask is which used to preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask, this is the statement which is written in a letter to state and union territories.
Valved masks are typically used in an industrial setting, where the mask user needs protection from the environment. While the mask filter in the air that the user inhales, the valves help release exhaled air back into the environment,
In fact, in May, the San Francisco Department of Public Health had warned of the inappropriate usage of N95 masks. “The ones with the valves or openings on the front are NOT safe, and may actually propel your germs further,” the department had tweeted.
The valve or the raised plastic gasket found in some N95 mask models basically filters the air inhaled by the person and blocks the entry of pathogens suspended in the air. The valves allow easier exhalation than traditional masks, prevent humidity, reduce heat and carbon dioxide build-up inside the mask.
The Health Ministry has stated and after doing a long discussion as well as an experiment that N95 mask with valved respirators does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask.
The valve is basically a ‘one-way valve’ one why can keep the germs hold, that only protects the person wearing it and doesn’t filter the aerosols coming out.
Hence, an asymptomatic carrier of the novel coronavirus can easily spread without maintaining distance infection to others when the valve releases the unfiltered exhaled air in the immediate surroundings.
Thus, in a closed area, where the humidity, maybe high or density also people around the carrier have a higher risk of potential exposure to the virus. Asymptomatic transmission is when a person who displays no Covid-19 symptoms — such as fever, body ache, cough etc — transmits the infection to another person.
According to Dr Ajit Kumar Das, the valve becomes a pocket of infection as it is a ‘one-way’ mechanism and exhaled air passes into the environment.
“The purpose of a mask is not only that it reduces the possibility of the virus getting inside the respiratory tract but also prevents the aerosols from spreading in the surroundings. Through the valve, exhaled air passes unfiltered into the environment and has the potential of taking coronavirus droplets with it, putting others nearby in the risk of contracting the infection,”
On the other hand, a mask without a valve or a plane use and through cotton mask will not allow the virus to spread.
by Sushree Sangeeta Sahoo
Image Source: Google