Masks appear to help protect against air pollutants and COVID-19 | KOB 4

Masks appear to help protect against air pollutants and COVID-19

Patrick Hayes
Updated: August 26, 2020 06:43 PM
Created: August 26, 2020 03:14 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- COVID-19 safety precautions may help people deal with wildfire season in New Mexico.

New Mexico's air is usually considered safe, but wildfires have made it much more dangerous. 

"It's worse this year than I can remember," said UNM professor Dr. Matthew Campen. "This is really just a culmination of so many fires from Arizona and from California, and it's kind of circulating in and around all the Four Corner states right now. So it's bad. I'm sure some people are really feeling it."

Health officials say wearing a mask can help protect people from the pollutants in the air.

"You know, I think we're double-dipping with masks right now," Campen said. "Obviously, we should keep wearing them for COVID, but these things do clean up the air you breathe a little bit."
Campen said N-95 masks are most effective, but she said anything is better than nothing.

"There's some data that brings into question the effectiveness of a gaiter, and the effectiveness of bandanas," he said. "So if you're sensitive definitely go for a higher quality mask with multiple layers."

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