Scientists Says Reusing Masks Is Bad For One Specific Group of People

( Due to the proliferation of germs, researchers have recommended that those with weakened immune systems refrain from repeatedly using face masks.

A Japanese study on face mask hygiene came to this conclusion. In the study, 109 participants completed a face mask usage survey, and samples of bacteria and fungus were taken from the masks’ inside and exterior.

They also inquired about the sort of masks the respondents wore and how long they typically wore them. The survey identified three primary categories of masks that were often sold in Japan: gauze or linen masks, non-woven masks, and masks made of polyurethane.

In Asian nations, polyurethane masks, in particular, are frequently used to prevent hay fever. Because they are washable, they were also used and re-used during the COVID-19 epidemic. The study claims that gauze masks may also be cleaned and reused and “effectively prevent infections.” Non-woven disposable masks are intended to be used only once and cannot be washed.

The study’s authors did add that there is still uncertainty on the hygiene concerns related to masks. It is noteworthy that non-woven masks, which are meant to be disposable, were regularly used in Japan due to a lack of supplies.

According to the authors, some people continued to wear disposable non-woven masks or other forms of face masks even after the mask supply crisis was overcome.
They anticipated that prolonged usage of masks would increase the number of bacterial colonies. However, they discovered that a longer period of mask use was not associated with bacterial colony counts. They hypothesized that this occurred because masks dry out when individuals remove them for extended periods—possibly to go to bed—and dry environments do not support bacterial development.

Although fungi are more resistant to drying, the investigators did discover a correlation between longer periods of face mask use and increases in fungal colony counts.
Scientists stated that this clarifies why the growth of fungi increased and tended to accumulate with prolonged mask use.

Additionally, the scientists identified no appreciable variations in the amount of bacterial or fungal colonies based on washing, which they hypothesized may be due to a lack of knowledge regarding the right way to wash masks to disinfect them.

The scientists said in their article, “We advise that immunocompromised persons should avoid repetitive usage of masks to prevent microbial infection.”