Sale of N-95 mask with valves to be restricted

Sale of N-95 mask with valves to be restricted

July 22, 2020

Mysore/Mysuru: Following a letter to the Principal Secretaries of Health and Medical Education of States by Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) asking public not to use N-95 masks with valved respirators, the State Government is preparing to issue an order asking all medical stores not to sell such masks. This order will apply to Mysuru also. 

Health Department officials told Star of Mysore this morning that the sale of N-95 masks with valved respirators will be restricted. The DGHS has observed that the public has been using the N95 masks inappropriately, particularly those with a ‘valved respirator’. 

“It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of Coronavirus,” said DGHS Rajiv Garg in the letter. 

As per the letter, N-95 masks with valves are not able to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “When you exhale, the expired air goes out of the valve in the N-95 mask. If the person wearing such a mask is infected, COVID-19 virus can spread through the exhaled air into the atmosphere, which increases the risk of contamination of other people. So, in a way, it fails the Coronavirus-control strategies,” health officials said. 

A mask without a valve, on the other hand, will not allow the virus to spread. The DGHS advisory has asked the States to prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks. The advisory comes amid rising concerns over the ineffectiveness of the valved masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Valved masks are typically used in industrial settings, where a user needs protection from the environment. While the masks filter in air that the user inhales, the valves help release exhaled air back into the environment. When used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, valved masks would protect the user but could potentially end up harming others near them, the DGHS said. 


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