New study finds another good reason to wear a mask

Robert S. Hays

We know that when we use a experience mask, we shield ourselves and other people from the virus that will cause COVID-19. A new analyze supported by the National Institutes of Well being (NIH) implies that one particular way masks might protect us is by increasing the humidity of the air we inhale. The bigger level of humidity, which will come from our breath, could boost our defense towards diseases these types of as COVID-19.

The analyze scientists cited prior investigate that located that greater humidity can enable the lungs clear out germs and mucus, which helps delay and cut down an infection.

“The improved amount of humidity is one thing most mask-wearers in all probability felt without the need of staying equipped to understand it, and without noticing this humidity may possibly in fact be good for them,” said the study’s lead writer, Adriaan Bax, Ph.D., NIH Distinguished Investigator.

Dr. Bax and his team analyzed 4 frequent styles of masks. They examined N95 masks, a few-ply disposable surgical masks, two-ply cotton-polyester masks, and significant cotton masks. All 4 varieties elevated the degree of humidity of inhaled air, but to diverse amounts. At decreased temperatures, the humidifying outcomes of all the masks significantly elevated. At all temperatures, the weighty cotton masks led to the most amplified amount of humidity.

“This study supports the worth of mask-sporting as a straightforward still productive way to safeguard the people close to us and ourselves from respiratory an infection,” explained Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., director of NIH’s Nationwide Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Health conditions.

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