Is It More Safe to Wear Surgical Masks Cover with N95 Respirators Together?

Since 2020, respiratory infections caused by the new coronavirus have exploded globally. In the face of the highly contagious new coronavirus, residents wear medical mouthpieces in addition to improving their immunity and developing good hygiene habits.

Masks have become the most effective way to prevent respiratory infectious diseases and reduce the risk of new coronavirus infection. Wearing a mask can prevent patients from spraying droplets, reduce the amount and speed of droplets, and block virus-containing droplet nuclei, making it an essential product for personal epidemic prevention. In order to play a better protective role, people have begun to try to wear an additional surgical mask in addition to wearing an N05 mask. Does wearing a 2-layer mask really play a double protective role?

When N95 respirators are covered by surgical masks, cloth masks, or medical masks (collectively referred to as surgical masks) , there is an increased potential risk of leakage from the seal between the face and the mask.

When considering leakage risk, it is important to understand what factors may affect the seal between the face and the mask. The fit and seal of N95 will degrade with repeated wearing and doffing. The sealing performance of N95 masks is easily damaged and may be affected by various factors.

The additional wearing of a surgical mask creates new resistance to airflow compared to wearing the N95 alone. Respiratory resistance increases when a surgical mask is covered over the N95 compared to the N95 alone. When the user breathes, higher breathing pressure is created in the mask and in the airway due to the new resistance created by the additional surgical mask. As the pressure drops across the mask increases, the tightness of the N95 will be affected and leakage may occur gradually.

Therefore, it is not recommended to superimpose the use of N95 and surgical masks.

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