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How to apply respirators and air purifiers correctly?

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How to apply respirators and air purifiers correctly?

  • Q: Can all the masks remove odours?

    A: No. Only those masks or respirators with activated carbon can reduce odours to a certain level. Respirators have different mechanisms to remove particulates and gases. The fabrics are used to filter out particulates, whilst the activated carbon is for removing certain gases. If you want to know whether the activated carbon respirator you purchase can remove odours, test it by smelling things that give out VOCs at your home (such as rubbing alcohol, white vinegar or mothballs) before applying the respirator and after correctly applying it. If you find no noticeable difference, there may be a problem with the activated carbon or you are not applying the respirator correctly, i.e. the “face-to-respirator” seal is not fitted properly.

  • Q: Can surgical masks/ flat-fold masks/ gauze masks/ cotton masks protect us from PM2.5 air-borne particulates?

    A: No. You should consider two crucial and indispensable factors when selecting a respirator to protect you against PM2.5 particulates: 1) high filtration efficiency and 2) good “face-to-respirator” seal for low air leakage. It is difficult to judge whether the respirators are safe in respect of the above two factors. So, the respirators must be evaluated by using scientific methods based on authoritative standards and certified by qualified organisations. In China, the respirators must meet the standard GB2626-2006, of which the testing methods and indicators for filtration efficiency, leakage rate and air resistance are the same as those in Europe and the United States. Therefore, when you choose a PM2.5 respirator, first, check if the product meets the national standards, such as BG2626-2006; and then, find out if the product fits your face to achieve adequate protection.

  • Q: Do I need to open the windows regularly for ventilation when the air purifier is on?

    A: Opening the windows when the air purifier is on is a personal choice. Opening the windows can help remove indoor odours and CO2, but, if the outdoor air pollution level is high, opening the windows will make the indoor air quality worse and reduce the performance of the air purifier.

  • Q: Can a child wear a mask designed for adults?

    A: Different factors must be considered in this case:

    1.Suitability: Masks for adults are designed to fit adults’ faces and intended for their use only. A child’s face may be too small to fit, even if he/she uses a small-size adult’s mask. If the mask does not fit the size and contour of a child’s face, it cannot provide a proper seal and will lead to air leakage which may cause illnesses or harm.

    2.Resistance: Masks for adults are designed to withstand adults’ breathing resistance. Even if an adult’s mask fits a child’s face, you should make sure that the child’s physical condition is suitable for wearing the mask, i.e. no underlying heart or lung diseases and he/she can withstand the breathing resistance after applying the mask.

    3.Understand the importance of wearing a mask: The child should understand that removing a mask or respirator casually in a polluted environment may be hazardous to health and may cause illnesses.

    4.The child can apply the adult’s mask correctly according to the product guide.

    Parents/ guardians should carefully consider the above 4 factors before choosing respirators for their children. Not everyone is suited to wearing a mask or respirator, it all depends on his/her physical conditions. Adults can stop using a mask or respirator when they feel uncomfortable, but children may not be able to judge for themselves. Parents should therefore take all such risks into consideration to protect their children’s health and safety effectively.


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