Microbes on masks highlight need for frequent washing

Levels of bacteria, yeast and mould higher on masks worn for longer periods, study finds

The warm and moist micro-environment within all masks tends to be conducive for microbes to thrive, although not all microbes are necessarily harmful, say microbiologists. An experiment by testing laboratory Eurofins found that reusable masks general
The warm and moist micro-environment within all masks tends to be conducive for microbes to thrive, although not all microbes are necessarily harmful, say microbiologists. An experiment by testing laboratory Eurofins found that reusable masks generally contained more microbes than disposable ones.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Masks that are worn repeatedly and for prolonged periods need to be washed often as they contain microbes from our skin and respiratory droplets, a study has noted.

An experiment by testing laboratory Eurofins showed that bacteria, yeast and mould were found in greater amounts when a mask had been worn for a longer period.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2021, with the headline 'Microbes on masks highlight need for frequent washing'. Subscribe