BOSTON (CBS) – People are wearing masks wherever they go, but as the weather heats up are there any health risks to wearing a mask in the hot weather? Are some masks better – or more comfortable – than others?
Health studies that looked at the effects of wearing N-95 masks found no increased carbon monoxide in the body, said Dr. Bryan Canterbury, of Newton-Wellesley Hospital.
“The only significant finding they have ever had in multiple studies is the big, heavy ones are uncomfortable,” he said.
“Most of the things are discomfort issues,” said Dr. Matthew Mostofi, of Tufts Medical Center. “People who are healthy, there shouldn’t be any significant health risks.”
Canterbury said you should look for the usual signs that you are overheating, such as feeling your heart racing or having difficulty breathing. He said if you begin to see symptoms of overheating, stop what you are doing, drink water and get some rest.
“The N-95 masks, while offering superior protection from the virus, are often unnecessary, make it much harder to breathe and would be much hotter, obviously, on a day that’s 90 degrees,” Mostofi said.
Instead, he recommends people use cloth masks, paper surgical masks or even a bandana.