How many times should you reuse an N95 mask? Here's what to keep in mind

The amount of time the mask is worn is more important than how frequently it's worn

The Associated Press January 28, 2022 13:02:58 IST
How many times should you reuse an N95 mask? Here's what to keep in mind

AP Illustration

New York: How many times can I reuse my N95 mask?

It depends, but you should be able to use N95s and KN95s a few times.

The US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention says health care workers can wear an N95 mask up to five times. But experts say how often the average person can safely wear one will vary depending on how it's used.

Using the same mask to run to the grocery store, for example, is very different than wearing it all day at work.

The amount of time a mask is worn is more important than how frequently it's worn, says Richard Flagan, who studies masks and aerosols at the California Institute of Technology.

In general, he recommends limiting the use of an N95 mask to about two or three days.

With every breath you take in an N95, particles accumulate on the mask, Flagan says. That could make it more difficult to breathe if the mask has trapped a lot of particles.

"They are degrading the performance of the mask," Flagan says.

The elastic band on the mask could also get worn out and not fit around your face as snugly. It might also get dirty or wet, especially if you're using it while exercising.

If you notice any of these changes to your mask, it's time to stop using it — even if you've only used it a few hours. And since N95 masks can't be washed, they should be thrown away once you can no longer use them.

Read all the Latest News, Trending NewsCricket News, Bollywood News,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Updated Date:

also read

COVID-19 update: India reports 2,841 new cases, nine deaths in last 24 hours, active cases dip to 18,604
India

COVID-19 update: India reports 2,841 new cases, nine deaths in last 24 hours, active cases dip to 18,604

The fresh COVID-19 infections reported on Friday were marginally higher than 2,827 cases logged on Thursday. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.58 per cent, while the weekly positivity rate was 0.69 per cent

Beijing closes subway stations to restrict movement amid spike in COVID-19 cases
World

Beijing closes subway stations to restrict movement amid spike in COVID-19 cases

On Wednesday, Chinese capital Beijing recorded just 51 local virus infections including asymptomatic ones, while Shanghai reported nearly 5,000, a downward trend as the city loosens some restrictions

China's global sporting dominance hurt by COVID-19 curbs
Sports

China's global sporting dominance hurt by COVID-19 curbs

With the exception of the Winter Olympics — held in a virus-secure, closed-loop Beijing bubble — China has cancelled or postponed almost all events since Covid emerged in Wuhan in late 2019.