There is no need to "shake" before wearing a mask

Expert: Ethylene oxide is widely used in disinfection and sterilization, very volatile, and basically no residue

  ●The current standard for medical masks requires that "masks sterilized by ethylene oxide should have no more than 10μg/g of residual ethylene oxide".

  ●Currently, there is no evidence that the ethylene oxide residue indicator requirements of the relevant mask standards (≤10μg/g) will have an adverse effect on human health.

  ●It takes at least one month for masks to be sterilized by ethylene oxide, then analyzed by the factory, stored, transported, sold, and finally received by consumers. Ethylene oxide is an extremely volatile compound. The penetration ability is very strong, and there is basically no residue.

  Guangzhou Daily (all media reporter Wang Jing, He Yingsi correspondent Sui Disease Control, Ni Huiling) A few days ago, a video of "mask disinfection residues are a type of carcinogen, shake before using masks" was widely spread on the Internet.

Many citizens are worried, can they still wear masks at ease?

To this end, the reporter interviewed testing institutions, disease control experts, and university experts to answer questions for citizens.

Ethylene oxide can kill all kinds of microorganisms at room temperature

  "Ethylene oxide sterilization is currently the most widely used sterilization method for medical device products. Products with sterility requirements are often used, such as medical masks. If it is a non-sterile product, ethylene oxide is generally not used for the product. Sterilize.” Zhu Ruitian, deputy director and senior engineer of the High-tech Product Testing Center of Guangzhou Inspection Group, introduced that the current medical mask standard requires that “masks sterilized by ethylene oxide should have an ethylene oxide residue not exceeding 10μg/ g."

  "Most of the sterile medical masks are disinfected with ethylene oxide." According to Liu Tiantian, an expert in hospital infection and prevention and control and from the School of Public Health of Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, ethylene oxide can kill all kinds of microorganisms at room temperature. , Is a very widely used method of disinfection and sterilization. Basically, commonly used sterile medical device manufacturers use this method for sterilization.

  Zhu Ruitian said that since medical masks belong to the second category of medical equipment, formal medical mask manufacturers must test the ethylene oxide residues of each batch of products, and the masks can be put on the market only after the test is qualified.

For non-medical masks, if they are sterilized by ethylene oxide, there is no mandatory requirement for the product to be tested for residual ethylene oxide before leaving the factory, but the manufacturer must also be responsible for the quality and safety of the mask.

Masks produced by regular manufacturers purchased through regular channels can be worn with confidence

  Is ethylene oxide harmful to humans?

Zhu Ruitian said that the toxicity cannot be discussed without the dose. There is currently no evidence that the ethylene oxide residue indicator requirements (≤10μg/g) of the relevant mask standards will have an adverse effect on human health.

  Is it necessary to "shake" before wearing a mask?

In this regard, Liu Tiantian believes that there is no need for people to do this, as long as the masks are made by regular manufacturers purchased through regular channels, they can be worn with confidence.

  Liu Tiantian explained that it takes at least one month for masks to go through ethylene oxide sterilization, then go through factory analysis, storage, transportation, sales, and finally reach consumers.

Ethylene oxide is an extremely volatile compound with strong penetrating ability and almost no residue.

In addition, from the perspective of medical workers, opening the mask package and "shaking" before putting it on again is an irregular operation.

  Disease control experts emphasized that at the current epidemic situation, everyone should still take adequate protection and keep in mind the "three-piece suit" of epidemic prevention-wearing masks, social distancing, and personal hygiene; doing a good job in epidemic prevention "five more"-wearing masks and social distancing You have to stay, cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands frequently, and keep windows as open as possible.

  In August this year, the National Health Commission, in conjunction with relevant departments, formulated the "Guidelines for the Public and Key Occupational Groups to Wear Masks (August 2021)", which divided the general public and key populations into the scenes and situations to wear masks, mask selection and Precautions.

It mentioned that for the general public, in addition to wearing masks in confined places, they should also wear masks when they are in crowded open air squares, theaters and parks and other outdoor places.

  Experts suggest that citizens should keep some high-level masks in their homes. When family members come to the hospital with symptoms such as nasopharyngeal discomfort, coughing, sneezing, and fever, they can wear higher-level masks to protect themselves, protect others, and fully guard against the virus. Spread risk.

Don't fall into these misunderstandings when wearing a mask

  ●Show your nose

  Exposing the nose means issuing an "entry permit" to the virus. Both the mouth and nose should be covered.

  ●Cover Chin

  It may seem convenient to move the mask to the chin, but the protective significance of the mask is actually zero, and the risk of infection is greatly increased.

  ● Arms

  There is no place to put the mask off, put it directly on your arm or arm.

If you do this, the arm has a wide range of motion. Put the mask on your arm or arm, and the inside of the mask can easily be contaminated with germs.

  ●Padded tissues inside the mask

  Although paper towels can absorb water, they cannot block germs.

Putting paper towels inside the mask will create a gap between the face and the mask, which will affect the airtightness of the mask and reduce the protective effect.

  ●No replacement

  Under normal circumstances, disposable medical masks and medical surgical masks are used for a limited time. Too long use will reduce the filtering effect and increase the respiratory resistance.