A new study has been released with information on the effectiveness on different masks and was shared with WL-S from Logan County Health Department.
When it comes to specific masks, they can range from a simple folded bandana to hand-sewn cloth masks to N95 respirator masks.
- While N95 masks provide a high level of protection, they aren’t a realistic option for most people, as they should be earmarked for frontline healthcare workers. N-95’s aren’t exactly a one-size-fits-all option. N95 masks need to be fitted, and the wearer needs to be fit-tested to make sure that it’s on appropriately, otherwise, wearing one is actually not very useful for non-medical people.
- The simplest masks — either a bandana or handkerchief — were virtually ineffective. “I was a bit surprised to see how much leakage could occur through the bandanas and folded handkerchief masks we tested, even through multiple folds of the cotton fabric.”
- Ultimately, Verma and his colleagues determined that the most effective homemade masks were those that were well-fitted with multiple layers of quilting fabric. “Quilting cotton, with two layers stitched together, turned out to be the best in terms of stopping capability,” said Verma. “For minimizing the chances of transmission, it is important to use masks made of good quality tightly woven fabric, as well as mask designs that provide a good seal along the edges without being uncomfortable.”
- Another useful mask option, for those who can obtain them, are simple surgical masks (Also known as procedure masks or ear loop masks). These are probably the most comfortable to wear. They’re very lightweight and they afford good protection.