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On May 13th, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new recommendations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. They said fully vaccinated people (those who received their final dose at least two weeks ago) can do almost all activities without a mask on.
The exceptions are when flying or taking public transit, and when visiting health care facilities or other areas where people are close together for long periods of time. Masks are still recommended in those places at this time.
Masks play an important role in reducing the spread of airborne illnesses, and in protecting you from breathing in other harmful particles. Now that masks are less necessary for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, let’s take a look at other reasons you can wear a mask to protect your health.
As warmer weather arrives, you may have plans to paint the inside or outside of your home. While most common painting tasks like rolling and brushing likely don’t require more than a basic mask, you should use some type of disposable respirator if you’re using any type of spray application or removing old paint (especially if it may be lead-based paint.)
Other DIY projects that may include dusty environments or sanding a variety of surfaces should be done with an adequate respirator and eye protection.
From everyday chores like dusting and vacuuming to occasional deep cleaning that involves bleach and other chemicals, a mask will protect you from odor and keep any harmful substances from entering your airways.
For dusting, you can use the cloth masks you had during the pandemic, or upgrade to something like a specialized dust mask. Note that neither of these is fully effective against most chemicals and fumes.
When cleaning with harsh substances that can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), turn to a multi-purpose respirator that provides at least 99.7% filtration efficiency against solid and liquid aerosols.
For allergy sufferers, lawn mowing can present more problems than just a sunburn. The mower relentlessly kicks up pollen, ragweed, and other allergens, which can really take a toll on your health after an hour or more of exposure.
There are several mask options for protecting against allergens and other unwanted particles. Look for a mask that closes tightly around your nose and mouth for proper protection and to prevent fogging on any eye protection you’re wearing.
Along with wearing the recommended masks above, proper ventilation is key to maintaining a Healthy Air environment for all your home projects.
When painting or cleaning indoors, keep windows open if the weather allows. And, an AprilAire Whole-Home Ventilation System makes it simple to refresh the air in your home any time of year.
It can automatically bring in fresh air from the outside to dilute trapped airborne contaminants like allergens, chemicals, viruses and bacteria, and radon. It also helps push trapped humid air outside to help improve indoor comfort and health.
Talk to an AprilAire Healthy Air Pro to see what’s possible for your home.