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1.
J Hazard Mater ; 443(Pt B): 130381, 2023 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36444075

ABSTRACT

Abundant disposable surgical masks (SMs) remain in the environment and continue to age under urban environmental stressors. This study aimed to investigate the aging characteristics of SMs and the effect of different aged layers of SMs on phenanthrene (PHE), tylosin (TYL), and sulfamethazine (SMT) under two different urban environmental stressors (UV and ozone). The results show that UV exposure causes more severe aging of the SM layers than ozone. The middle layer, made of melt-brown fabric, has displayed the highest degree of aging due to its smaller diameter and mechanical strength. The two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy (2D-COS) analysis reveals the different aging sequences of functional groups and three layers in aged SMs under the two urban environmental stressors. Whether the SMs are aged or not, the adsorptions of three organic pollutants on SMs are positively correlated with the octanol-water partition coefficient. Furthermore, except for the dominant hydrophobic interaction, aged SMs can promote the adsorption of three organic pollutants by accessory interactions (hydrogen bonding and partition), depending on their structures. These findings highlight the environmental effects of new microplastic (MP) sources and coexisting pollutants under the influence of COVID-19, which is helpful in accurately evaluating the biological toxicity of SMs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Environmental Pollutants , Ozone , Humans , Aged , Masks , Plastics
2.
J Hazard Mater ; 441: 129831, 2023 01 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36084457

ABSTRACT

The contagious coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic has led to an increasing number of disposable face masks (DFMs) abandoned in the environment, when they are exposed to the air condition, the broken of chemical bond induced aging is inevitably occurred which meantime would cause a drastic decrease of the mechanical flexibility. However, the understanding of between chemical bond change related to aging and its micromechanical loss is limited due to the lack of refined techniques. Herein, the atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique was firstly used to observe the aging process induced by methine of the polypropylene-based DFMs. By comparing the micromechanical properties loss, the influences of humidity and light density on the DFM aging were systematically studied in the early 72 h, and it revealed that the increasing scissions number of the easiest attacked methine (Ct-H) can gradually decrease the micromechanical properties of the polypropylene (PP)-based DFM. Furthermore, the results are also validated by the in- situ FTIR and XPS analysis. This work discloses that an aging process can be initially estimated with the micromechanical changes observed by AFM, which offers fundamental data to manage this important emerging plastic pollution during COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Polypropylenes , Aging , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Masks , Microscopy, Atomic Force , Pandemics
3.
J Exp Child Psychol ; 226: 105580, 2023 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36347070

ABSTRACT

Face mask wearing was an important preventative strategy for the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. However, the effects that occluding the mouth and nose area with surgical masks could have on young children's language processing and emotion recognition skills have received little investigation. To evaluate the possible effects, the current study recruited a sample of 74 children from the North West of England (aged 4-8 years). They completed two computer-based tasks with adults wearing or not wearing surgical face masks to assess (a) language processing skills and (b) emotion recognition ability. To control for individual differences, age, sex, receptive vocabulary, early reading skills, and parent-reported social-emotional competence were included in analyses. The findings from the study highlighted that although younger children were less accurate than older children, face masks did not significantly impair basic language processing ability. However, they had a significant effect on the children's emotion recognition accuracy-with masked angry faces more easily recognized and masked happy and sad faces less easily recognized. Children's age and social-emotional skills also played a role. The findings suggest that the effects of face masks should continue to be evaluated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Adult , Child , Humans , Adolescent , Child, Preschool , Language , COVID-19/prevention & control , Social Skills , Emotions
4.
J Hazard Mater ; 443(Pt B): 130273, 2023 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36327849

ABSTRACT

The accelerated use, massive disposal, and contamination with face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic have raised new questions regarding their negative impact on the environment emerged. One major concern is whether microplastics (MPs) derived from face masks (FMPs) represent an important ecotoxicological hazard. Here, we discussed the shortcomings, loose ends, and considerations of the current literature investigating the ecotoxicological effects of FMPs on aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Overall, there are multiple uncertainties regarding the true impact of FMPs at a certain concentration due to the presence of uncontrolled or unknown degradation products, such as MPs of various size ranges even nano-sized (<1 µm) and chemical additives. It is apparent that FMPs may induce endocrine-disrupting and behavioral effects in different organisms. However, the results of FMPs should be carefully interpreted, as these cannot be extrapolated at a global scale, by taking into account a number of criteria such as face mask manufacturers, providers, consumer preferences, and type of face masks. Considering these uncertainties, it is still not possible to estimate the contribution of face masks to the already existing MP issue.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Humans , Microplastics/toxicity , Plastics , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control
6.
Waste Manag ; 155: 77-86, 2023 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36356433

ABSTRACT

Inexpensive iron-based catalysts are the most promising catalysts for microwave pyrolysis of waste plastics, especially a large number of disposable medical masks (DMMs) with biological hazards produced by spread of COVID-19. However, most synthesized iron-based catalysts have very low microwave heating efficiency due to the enrichment state of iron. Here, we prepared FeAlOx catalysts using the microwave heating method and found that the microwave heating efficiency of amorphous iron and hematite is very low, indeed, these materials can hardly initiate pyrolysis at room temperature, which limits the application of iron-based catalysts in microwave pyrolysis. By contrast, a mixture of DMMs and low-valent iron oxides produced by hydrogen reduction at 500 °C can be heated by microwaves to temperatures above 900 °C under the same conditions. When the hydrogen reduction temperature was incerased to 800 °C, the content of metallic iron in the catalyst gradually increased from 0.34 to 21.43%, which enhanced the microwave response ability of the catalyst, and decreased the gas content in the pyrolysis product from 78.91 to 70.93 wt%; corresponding hydrogen yield also decreased from 29.03 to 25.02 mmolH2·g-1DMMs. Moreover, the morphology of the deposited solid carbon gradually changed from multi-walled CNTs to bamboo-like CNTs. This study clarifies the pyrolysis mechanism of microwave-assisted iron catalysts and lays a theoretical foundation for their application in microwave pyrolysis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pyrolysis , Humans , Microwaves , Iron , Masks , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hydrogen
7.
J Hazard Mater ; 443(Pt A): 130146, 2023 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36244106

ABSTRACT

This study focuses on characterizing microplastics and non-microplastics released from surgical masks (SMs), N95 masks (N95), KN95 masks (KN95), and children's masks (CMs) after simulating sunlight aging. Based on micro-Raman spectrum analysis, it was found that the dominant particles released from masks were non-microplastics (66.76-98.85%). Unfortunately, CMs released the most microplastics, which is 8.92 times more than SMs. The predominant size range of microplastics was 30-500 µm, and the main polymer types were PP and PET. Compared with the whole SMs, the microplastic particles released from the cutting-SMs increased conspicuously, which is 12.15 times that of the whole SMs. The main components of non-microplastics include ß-carotene, microcrystalline cellulose 102, and eight types of minerals. Furthermore, non-microplastics were mainly fibrous and fragmented in appearance, similar to the morphology of microplastics. After 15 days of UVA-aging, the fibers of the face layers had cracks to varying degrees. It was estimated that these four types of masks can release at least 31.5 trillion microplastics annually in China. Overall, this study demonstrated that the masks could release a large quantity of microplastics and non-microplastics to the environment after sunlight aging, deserving urgent attention in the future study.


Subject(s)
Microplastics , Water Pollutants, Chemical , Child , Humans , Sunlight , Masks , Water , Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis , Plastics
8.
J Hazard Mater ; 443(Pt A): 130176, 2023 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36283214

ABSTRACT

Serious human health concerns have been recently raised from daily use of face masks, due to the possible presence of hazardous compounds as the phthalic acid esters (PAEs). In this study, the content of 11 PAEs in 35 commercial masks was assessed by applying a specific and accurate method, using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. Surgical, FFP2 and non-surgical models, for both adults and children were collected from the Italian market. Analyses showed that four of the target analytes were detected in all tested samples with median total concentrations ranging between 23.6 mg/kg and 54.3 mg/kg. Results obtained from the experimental analysis were used in the risk assessment studies carried out for both carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects. Doses of exposure (Dexp) of PAEs ranged from 6.43 × 10-5 mg/kg bw/day to 1.43 × 10-2 mg/kg bw/day. Cumulative risk assessment was performed for non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic effects. No potential risk was found for non-carcinogenic effects, yet the 20% of the mask samples showed potential carcinogenic effects for humans. A refined exposure assessment was performed showing no risk for carcinogenic effects. This paper presents a risk assessment approach for the identification of potential risks associated to the use of face masks.


Subject(s)
Masks , Phthalic Acids , Adult , Child , Humans , Esters/analysis , Phthalic Acids/toxicity , Phthalic Acids/analysis , Risk Assessment , Carcinogens/analysis
9.
BMJ Open ; 12(11): e061029, 2022 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36418127

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: This study aims to measure how transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurs in communities and to identify conditions that lend to increased transmission focusing on congregate situations. We will measure SARS-CoV-2 in exhaled breath of asymptomatic and symptomatic persons using face mask sampling-a non-invasive method for SARS-CoV-2 detection in exhaled air. We aim to detect transmission clusters and identify risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 transmission in presymptomatic, asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: In this observational prospective study with daily follow-up, index cases and their respective contacts are identified at each participating institution. Contact definitions are based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health department guidelines. Participants will wear masks with polyvinyl alcohol test strips adhered to the inside for 2 hours daily. The strips are applied to all masks used over at least 7 days. In addition, self-administered nasal swabs and (optional) finger prick blood samples are performed by participants. Samples are tested by standard PCR protocols and by novel antigen tests. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study was approved by the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board and the WHO Ethics Review Committee. From the data generated, we will analyse transmission clusters and risk factors for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in congregate settings. The kinetics of asymptomatic transmission and the evaluation of non-invasive tools for detection of transmissibility are of crucial importance for the development of more targeted control interventions-and ultimately to assist with keeping congregate settings open that are essential for our social fabric. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ClinicalTrials.gov (#NCT05145803).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Humans , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Observational Studies as Topic , Personal Protective Equipment , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Trends Hear ; 26: 23312165221134378, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36437739

ABSTRACT

Unhindered auditory and visual signals are essential for a sufficient speech understanding of cochlear implant (CI) users. Face masks are an important hygiene measurement against the COVID-19 virus but disrupt these signals. This study determinates the extent and the mechanisms of speech intelligibility alteration in CI users caused by different face masks. The audiovisual German matrix sentence test was used to determine speech reception thresholds (SRT) in noise in different conditions (audiovisual, audio-only, speechreading and masked audiovisual using two different face masks). Thirty-seven CI users and ten normal-hearing listeners (NH) were included. CI users showed a reduction in speech reception threshold of 5.0 dB due to surgical mask and 6.5 dB due to FFP2 mask compared to the audiovisual condition without mask. The greater proportion of reduction in SRT by mask could be accounted for by the loss of the visual signal (up to 4.5 dB). The effect of each mask was significantly larger in CI users who exclusively hear with their CI (surgical: 7.8 dB, p = 0.005 and FFP2: 8.7 dB, p = 0.01) compared to NH (surgical: 3.8 dB and FFP2: 5.1 dB). This study confirms that CI users who exclusively rely on their CI for hearing are particularly susceptible. Therefore, visual signals should be made accessible for communication whenever possible, especially when communicating with CI users.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cochlear Implants , Speech Perception , Humans , Masks/adverse effects , Pandemics , Speech Intelligibility
11.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277625, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36409731

ABSTRACT

Face masks, recently adopted to reduce the spread of COVID-19, have had the unintended consequence of increasing the difficulty of face recognition. In security applications, face recognition algorithms are used to identify individuals and present results for human review. This combination of human and algorithm capabilities, known as human-algorithm teaming, is intended to improve total system performance. However, prior work has shown that human judgments of face pair similarity-confidence can be biased by an algorithm's decision even in the case of an error by that algorithm. This can reduce team effectiveness, particularly for difficult face pairs. We conducted two studies to examine whether face masks, now routinely present in security applications, impact the degree to which this cognitive bias is experienced by humans. We first compared the influence of algorithm's decisions on human similarity-confidence ratings in the presence and absence of face masks and found that face masks more than doubled the influence of algorithm decisions on human similarity-confidence ratings. We then investigated if this increase in cognitive bias was dependent on perceived algorithm accuracy by also presenting algorithm accuracy rates in the presence of face masks. We found that making humans aware of the potential for algorithm errors mitigated the increase in cognitive bias due to face masks. Our findings suggest that humans reviewing face recognition algorithm decisions should be made aware of the potential for algorithm errors to improve human-algorithm team performance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Facial Recognition , Humans , Masks , COVID-19/prevention & control , Algorithms , Judgment
12.
J Water Health ; 20(2): 300-313, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36366988

ABSTRACT

Public toilets may increase the risk of COVID-19 infection via airborne transmission; however, related research is limited. We aimed to estimate SARS-CoV-2 infection risk through respiratory transmission using a quantitative microbial risk assessment framework by retrieving SARS-CoV-2 concentrations from the swab tests of 251 Thai patients. Three virus-generating scenarios were investigated: an infector breathing, breathing with a cough, and breathing with a sneeze. The infection risk (95th percentile) was as high as 10-1 with breathing and increased to 1 with a cough or a sneeze. No significant gender differences for toilet users (receptors) were noted. The highest risk scenario, namely breathing with a sneeze, was further evaluated for risk mitigation measures. Mitigation to a lower risk under 10-3 succeeded only when the infector and the receptor both wore N95 respirators or surgical masks. Ventilation of up to 20 air changes per hour (ACH) did not decrease the risk. However, an extended waiting time of 10 min between an infector and a receptor resulted in approximately 1.0-log10 further risk reduction when both wore masks with the WHO-recommended 12 ACH. The volume of expelled droplets, virus concentrations, and receptor dwell time were identified as the main contributors to transmission risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Humans , Bathroom Equipment , Cough , COVID-19/prevention & control , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Public Health , Thailand , Communicable Disease Control
13.
Cogn Res Princ Implic ; 7(1): 97, 2022 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36380225

ABSTRACT

Face masks became prevalent across the globe as an efficient tool to stop the spread of COVID-19. A host of studies already demonstrated that masks lead to changes in facial identification and emotional expression processing. These changes were documented across ages and were consistent even with the increased exposure to masked faces. Notably, mask-wearing also changes the state of the observers in regard to their own bodies and other agents. Previous research has already demonstrated a plausible association between observers' states and their perceptual behaviors. Thus, an outstanding question is whether mask-wearing would alter face recognition abilities. To address this question, we conducted a set of experiments in which participants were asked to recognize non-masked faces (Experiment 1), masked faces (Experiment 2) and novel objects (Experiment 3) while they were either masked or unmasked. Mask wearing hindered face perception abilities but did not modulate object recognition ability. Finally, we demonstrated that the decrement in face perception ability relied on wearing the mask on distinctive facial features (Experiment 4). Together, these findings reveal a novel effect of mask-wearing on face recognition. We discuss these results considering the plausible effect of somatosensory stimulation on visual processing as well as the effect of involuntary perspective taking.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Facial Recognition , Humans , Masks , Visual Perception
14.
Front Public Health ; 10: 1009152, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36438220

ABSTRACT

The transmission of SARS-CoV-2 leads to devastating COVID-19 infections around the world, which has affected both human health and the development of industries dependent on social gatherings. Sports events are one of the subgroups facing great challenges. The uncertainty of COVID-19 transmission in large-scale sports events is a great barrier to decision-making with regard to reopening auditoriums. Policymakers and health experts are trying to figure out better policies to balance audience experiences and COVID-19 infection control. In this study, we employed the generalized SEIR model in conjunction with the Wells-Riley model to estimate the effects of vaccination, nucleic acid testing, and face mask wearing on audience infection control during the 2021 Chinese Football Association Super League from 20 April to 5 August. The generalized SEIR modeling showed that if the general population were vaccinated by inactive vaccines at an efficiency of 0.78, the total number of infectious people during this time period would decrease from 43,455 to 6,417. We assumed that the general population had the same odds ratio of entering the sports stadiums and becoming the audience. Their infection probabilities in the stadium were further estimated by the Wells-Riley model. The results showed that if all of the 30,000 seats in the stadium were filled by the audience, 371 audience members would have become infected during the 116 football games in the 2021 season. The independent use of vaccination and nucleic acid testing would have decreased this number to 79 and 118, respectively. The combined use of nucleic acid testing and vaccination or face mask wearing would have decreased this number to 14 and 34, respectively. The combined use of all three strategies could have further decreased this number to 0. According to the modeling results, policymakers can consider the combined use of vaccination, nucleic acid testing, and face mask wearing to protect audiences from infection when holding sports events, which could create a balance between audience experiences and COVID-19 infection control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nucleic Acids , Humans , Masks , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
15.
Minerva Anestesiol ; 88(11): 918-927, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36367410

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Non-invasive ventilation may alter the morphology and histology of the upper airway mucosa. This study aimed to investigate the alterations of hypopharynx and oropharynx mucosa, identified during oro-tracheal intubation procedure via video-assisted laryngoscopy, in severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 related, treated by non-invasive ventilation via full-face mask or helmet. METHODS: Data of patients affected by Coronavirus 2 admitted to COVID Hospital of L'Aquila (Italy), presenting hypopharynx and oropharynx morphology alterations, requiring oro-tracheal intubation for invasive ventilation and initially treated with non-invasive ventilation were included in the study. The study aimed to investigate the upper airway mucosa alterations using oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal images and biopsies taken during video-assisted-laryngoscopy. Data from the hypopharynx and oropharynx morphology and histology alterations between non-invasive ventilation via a full-face mask or helmet used during hospitalization were compared. RESULTS: From 220 data recorded, 60 patients were included in the study and classified into non-invasive ventilation full-face mask group (30/60) and via helmet group. Comparing data between groups, significant differences were found with respect to hyperemia (77% vs. 20%), laryngeal bleeding ulcerations (87% vs. 13%), and vocal cord edema with >50% narrowing of the tracheal lumen (73% vs. 7%), respectively. The histology examination revealed fibrin-necrotic exudate with extensive necrotic degenerative changes in the sample tissue of the groups. There were not any differences in the duration time of non-invasive ventilation, time from hospitalization and the start of ventilation between groups. CONCLUSIONS: The data from this research suggested that there were differences in airway mucosa damages among patients treated with a full-face mask or helmet. Further studies should be planned to understand which non-invasive ventilation support may mitigate upper airway mucosa damages when oro-tracheal intubation is requested for invasive respiratory support.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Noninvasive Ventilation , Humans , Noninvasive Ventilation/methods , Masks , Head Protective Devices , Hypopharynx , Italy , COVID-19/therapy , Intubation, Intratracheal , Oropharynx
17.
N Engl J Med ; 387(21): 1935-1946, 2022 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36351262

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In February 2022, Massachusetts rescinded a statewide universal masking policy in public schools, and many Massachusetts school districts lifted masking requirements during the subsequent weeks. In the greater Boston area, only two school districts - the Boston and neighboring Chelsea districts - sustained masking requirements through June 2022. The staggered lifting of masking requirements provided an opportunity to examine the effect of universal masking policies on the incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in schools. METHODS: We used a difference-in-differences analysis for staggered policy implementation to compare the incidence of Covid-19 among students and staff in school districts in the greater Boston area that lifted masking requirements with the incidence in districts that sustained masking requirements during the 2021-2022 school year. Characteristics of the school districts were also compared. RESULTS: Before the statewide masking policy was rescinded, trends in the incidence of Covid-19 were similar across school districts. During the 15 weeks after the statewide masking policy was rescinded, the lifting of masking requirements was associated with an additional 44.9 cases per 1000 students and staff (95% confidence interval, 32.6 to 57.1), which corresponded to an estimated 11,901 cases and to 29.4% of the cases in all districts during that time. Districts that chose to sustain masking requirements longer tended to have school buildings that were older and in worse condition and to have more students per classroom than districts that chose to lift masking requirements earlier. In addition, these districts had higher percentages of low-income students, students with disabilities, and students who were English-language learners, as well as higher percentages of Black and Latinx students and staff. Our results support universal masking as an important strategy for reducing Covid-19 incidence in schools and loss of in-person school days. As such, we believe that universal masking may be especially useful for mitigating effects of structural racism in schools, including potential deepening of educational inequities. CONCLUSIONS: Among school districts in the greater Boston area, the lifting of masking requirements was associated with an additional 44.9 Covid-19 cases per 1000 students and staff during the 15 weeks after the statewide masking policy was rescinded.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Policy , Masks , School Health Services , Universal Precautions , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Incidence , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Schools/legislation & jurisprudence , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Students/legislation & jurisprudence , Students/statistics & numerical data , Health Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , Masks/statistics & numerical data , School Health Services/legislation & jurisprudence , School Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Groups/legislation & jurisprudence , Occupational Groups/statistics & numerical data , Universal Precautions/legislation & jurisprudence , Universal Precautions/statistics & numerical data , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data
18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36430072

ABSTRACT

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many new materials and masks came onto the market. To determine their suitability, several standards specify which properties to test, including bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE), while none describe how to determine viral filtration efficiency (VFE), a property that is particularly important in times of pandemic. Therefore, we focused our research on evaluating the suitability and efficiency of different systems for determining VFE. Here, we evaluated the VFE of 6 mask types (e.g., a surgical mask, a respirator, material for mask production, and cloth masks) with different filtration efficiencies in four experimental setups and compared the results with BFE results. The study included 17 BFE and 22 VFE experiments with 73 and 81 mask samples tested, respectively. We have shown that the masks tested had high VFE (>99% for surgical masks and respirators, ≥98% for material, and 87-97% for cloth masks) and that all experimental setups provided highly reproducible and reliable VFE results (coefficient of variation < 6%). Therefore, the VFE tests described in this study can be integrated into existing standards for mask testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Filtration , Ventilators, Mechanical
19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36360983

ABSTRACT

Non-pharmaceutical intervention such as wearing a mask during the pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of the virus. However, despite high effectiveness and easy to access, the biggest problem is 'discomfort'. The purpose of this study was to measure the changes of cardiopulmonary response and related factors affecting breathing discomfort when wearing a mask during vigorous exercise. Fifteen healthy male adults participated in this study. The experimental protocol consisted of three conditions: no mask; KF-94 mask; and sports mask. Each condition consisted of three stages: stage I, 2 m/s on even level; stage II, 2 m/s with 5° inclination; and stage III, 3 m/s on even level. Oxygen saturation (SaO2) and heart rate (HR), partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), energy expenditure index (EEI), in-mask temperature, humidity, and a five-point scale questionnaire to evaluate subjective discomfort were measured. The results show that there was a significantly higher discomfort score in mask conditions compared with no mask (p < 0.05) and only pCO2 change significantly related to subjective discomfort during exercise (p < 0.05). Moreover, the pCO2 washout was significantly disturbed when wearing a sports mask in stages 2 and 3, which was related to wearer subjective discomfort.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Adult , Male , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Exercise
20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36361160

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: The use of face masks and gloves in public places directly shows the commitment of the population to the established regulations. Public transport is one of the most-at-risk places of contamination. The aim of the study was to analyze the face mask use by public transport passengers and workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. (2) Methods: Public transport passengers and workers were surveyed. Periodic intermittent selective observation was used to gauge the level of adherence to the established regulations among public transport passengers. Factor analysis was used to identify factors determining the face-mask-wearing comfort. (3) Results: The majority of passengers (87.5%) and all transport workers (100%) used face masks and gloves. Most of the users wore only face masks. Only 41.6% of passengers and 74.7% of transport workers wore face masks correctly. Motivational attitudes at the implementation of preventive measures were determined: established regulations in the public place (55.8%) and the protection of one's own health and the health of family members (44.2%). Only 22.5% of those wearing face masks believed that doing so will have any effect on the spread of an infectious disease, and 10.8% wore masks to maintain the health of people around themselves. A low level of social responsibility was demonstrated. For 53.4% of workers, face mask wearing was uncomfortable. The majority of workers had adverse reactions to mask wearing: feeling short of breath (52.8%), hyperemia of face skin (33.8%), and facial hyperhidrosis (67.4%). (4) Conclusions: The comfort of wearing a mask is determined by adverse reactions occurrence, the properties of the mask, working conditions, and the duration of wearing the face mask. It is necessary to develop recommendations to reduce wearing discomfort. These recommendations, along with methods of raising the social responsibility of the population, can contribute to a greater commitment of the population to non-specific prevention measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Transportation , Surveys and Questionnaires
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