Airborne contaminants can cause both short and long term respiratory related health problems. To reduce air particle impact, some cover their mouth and nose while out and about with a disposable mask to reap its filtering benefit.
There are various health issues for which disposable masks are worn. Those who suffer with allergies may use an air mask in an attempt to catch allergens, such as pollen, dust, dust mites, mold spores, plant spores and pet dander. Because a high concentration of air pollution can cause respiratory difficulties, some mask up while breathing in this environment. Other reasons masking comes into play include an infection control measure to snag viral and bacterial pathogens, reduce chemical odors to prevent headache or warm cold air to avoid an asthma attack.
Does using a disposable respiratory mask really help? How well a disposable respiratory mask works largely depends on type of material, size and fit. The material of your respiratory disposable mask matters in that air particles you wish to filter need to be attracted and adhere to it. And including carbon in a mask might help filter odors.
Two sizes matter, the size of the particle you want to filter and pore size of the mask material you are using. Pore size cannot be too small because then it would more difficult to suck in air. It’s plausible you’ll filter the large particles, but nano sized ones often pass right through.
When it comes to fit, all inhaled air you wish to receive the benefit of filtering must pass through the mask. With a loose fit, the source for some of your air comes in from the sides.
Likely benefit for wearing a disposable air masks is the filtering of some, but not all, airborne particulates or germs you might otherwise inhaled. For some, this limiting effect is enough to minimize a health impact. So yeah, wearing a respiratory mask can do some good.