Over the past 2 years, the new crown epidemic has been repeated, masks have become the "standard" for people to travel, and many people have also developed the habit of hoarding masks.
However, don't overlook one thing: masks also have a shelf life!
Thousands of masks hoarded, one is inattentive expired, it's a pity to throw it away, but can you still wear it? How to store masks better? NetEase Health consulted SGS Textile and Footwear Services Personal Protective Equipment Technical Engineer Yang Ran, answer the common misunderstandings of hoarding masks for you!
>>What is the shelf life of different types of masks?
In the case of unopened, the shelf life of disposable medical masks, medical surgical masks and daily protective masks is generally about 2-3 years, and some medical protective masks and anti-particulate masks with high protective performance are recommended to be stored for up to five years. Once the mask is opened, be sure to use it as soon as possible. In addition, masks can be properly stocked, but be sure to look at the production date and expiration date on the outer packaging.
>>Why do masks last so long?
Most masks are made of non-manufacturing materials such as meltblown cloth, which are relatively stable unlike everyday foods such as vegetables and fruits.
>>What is the shelf life of mask?
The filter material of the mask can adsorb fine particles and bacteria in the filter layer, and it is this protection and filtration that guarantees the shelf life. The expiration date on the mask packaging is generally for the situation that the mask is not opened, and it is recommended to wear the mask as soon as possible after opening, because the mask will quickly absorb dust and bacteria in the environment after opening, forming an unhygienic wearing environment. When worn, the mask touches the mouth and nose and is easy to cause allergies or respiratory discomfort.
>>How is it better to store masks on a daily basis?
If the mask has been kept in the designated environment, the advent mask can also be worn with confidence. It is best to store in a dry, ventilated and clean environment. You can refer to the storage temperature and humidity and environmental requirements on the mask packaging to avoid mildew or contamination.
>>Can I wear mask after it expires?
From the perspective of anti-bacteria, anti-virus aerosol inhalation, it is recommended not to wear expired masks, expired masks will affect their protection and filtration effect, can not play enough to block harmful substances, and from the perspective of preventing some large dust particles, masks that are not long overdue can be used appropriately in the home environment, such as cleaning. But make sure that the mask is not contaminated and looks good before use. Masks can be cut and thrown away when they expire to avoid misuse.
>> Netizens asked: Expired N95 masks are also stronger than disposable medical masks, and the filtration efficiency is similar to that of non-expired N95 masks, is this statement correct? Why?
This statement is not correct, China's medical masks are divided into three types, disposable medical protective masks, disposable medical masks and medical surgical masks. The filtration efficiency of N95 masks of American standards and disposable medical protective masks that meet Chinese standards is more than 95% for salt particles. However, after the masks expire, their filtration efficiency and protective effect cannot be guaranteed to maintain the original level. Disposable medical masks and medical surgical masks are mainly aimed at bacterial filtration, and the index requirements for the filtration efficiency of salty particles are lower than N95 masks and disposable protective masks.
>> Netizens asked: If the N95 mask expires for less than a year, the filtration efficiency is only 95% to 90%, and it should be able to be worn, is this statement correct? Why?
N95 masks are one of nine particulate matter respirators certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, N refers to oil intolerance, and 95 indicates a filtration efficiency of more than 95% for aerodynamic particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns. N95 masks after the expiration date can not predict its protective effect and filtration efficiency dropped by a few percent, if you want to be used to prevent outdoor fine particles, bacteria, saliva, droplets and other aerosols, expired N95 masks, it is recommended not to bring anymore. However, it can still be used as appropriate in the case of cleaning and tidying up the house.