A recent study has found that if 100 per cent of the population vulnerable to pollution wears a mask for two-thirds of the day, respiratory hospital admissions could be brought down by a whopping 60 per cent.
The Health Presso on the importance of wearing a mask beyond Covid prevention, Dr Nikhil Modi, Senior Consultant, Pulmonology, Apollo Hospital, said: "Wearing masks, regular sanitisation and maintaining social distancing, these habits don't just protect us from only COVID, but also from other infections."
He added: "Wearing a mask also protects us from exposure to harmful pollutants and related diseases. Covid, or no Covid, wearing a mask is a healthy habit and we should continue with it for as long as possible."
To protect yourself from pollutants, you must wear an N-95 mask and to further protect yourself from pollution as well as Covid, an N-95 mask without a vent is the way to goExplaining the different types of masks and their utility, Dr Sushil Kumar Vimal, Deputy Commissioner, National Urban Health Mission, said: "Before the Covid era, we used to have two types of masks - surgical and N-95.
"The surgical one was used by medical healthcare personnel while performing surgeries or in hospital set-ups, while the N-95, also known as the respirator, was used to shield oneself against pollution. These respirators are further divided into two categories - the ones with an exhalation valve or vent and the ones without one."
"During Covid, the government promoted three-layered Covid masks to prevent the spread of infection. While cotton masks are effective against the infection spreading while going out in the community, they are not effective against pollution," he said
To protect yourself from pollutants, you must wear an N-95 mask and to further protect yourself from pollution as well as Covid, an N-95 mask without a vent is the way to go. A respirator with a vent is not advised since it increases chances of infection spreading as you breathe out through the vent," he adds.