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Title: Effects of wearing N95 and surgical facemasks on heart rate, thermal stress and subjective sensations
Authors: Li, Y 
Tokura, H
Guo, YP
Wong, ASW
Wong, T
Chung, J
Newton, E
Keywords: Facemasks
Microclimate inside the facemasks
Nano-functional materials
Subjective perception
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Springer
Source: International archives of occupational and environmental health, 2005, v. 78, no. 6, p. 501-509 How to cite?
Journal: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 
Abstract: Aim: The study was aimed at investigating the effects of wearing N95 and surgical facemasks with and without nano-functional treatments on thermophysiological responses and the subjective perception of discomfort. Method: Five healthy male and five healthy female participants performed intermittent exercise on a treadmill while wearing the protective facemasks in a climate chamber controlled at an air temperature of 25°C and a relative humidity of 70%. Four types of facemasks, including N95 (3M 8210) and surgical facemasks, which were treated with nano-functional materials, were used in the study. Results: (1) The subjects had significantly lower average heart rates when wearing nano-treated and untreated surgical facemasks than when wearing nano-treated and untreated N95 facemasks. (2) The outer surface temperature of both surgical facemasks was significantly higher than that of both N95 facemasks. On the other hand, the microclimate and skin temperatures inside the facemask were significantly lower than those in both N95 facemasks. (3) Both surgical facemasks had significantly higher absolute humidity outside the surface than both N95 facemasks. The absolute humidity inside the surgical facemask was significantly lower than that inside both N95 facemasks. (4) Both surgical facemasks were rated significantly lower for perception of humidity, heat, breath resistance and overall discomfort than both N95 facemasks. The ratings for other sensations, including feeling unfit, tight, itchy, fatigued, odorous and salty, that were obtained while the subjects
ISSN: 0340-0131
DOI: 10.1007/s00420-004-0584-4
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