Prevention of asthma induced by cold air by cellulose-fabric face mask

Allergy. 1995 Mar;50(3):221-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.1995.tb01137.x.


We have tested the effect of a porous cellulose fabric face mask. Nine asthmatic patients, anamnestically sensitive to cold, took part in exercise tests on an ergometer bicycle at a temperature of approximately -10 degrees C, with and without a face mask. For comparison, exercise tests were also performed with breathing taking place through a woolen scarf. Three minutes after finishing the exercise test, there was an average fall in FEV1 of 32% in the group without a face mask. The corresponding fall in FEV1 was 6% with a face mask and 17% with a scarf. In order to get some idea of the patients' attitudes to the face mask, it was used by 25 asthma patients during a period of 2 weeks in winter, after which they were asked to answer a simple questionnaire. Eighty-eight percent of the patients stated that the face mask had provided satisfactory protection against asthma complaints induced by cold air, and 72% reported that they had been able to spend more time out-of-doors. The results show that porous cellulose fabric designed as a face mask offers effective protection against asthma complaints induced by cold air and exercise, and that the patients appear to appreciate this protective aid highly despite the cosmetic disadvantages.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air*
  • Animals
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / prevention & control*
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / psychology
  • Cellulose*
  • Cold Temperature / adverse effects*
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masks
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Protective Clothing
  • Respiratory Protective Devices*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wool


  • Cellulose