Masks protect the person wearing them from COVID-19, but there are many choices, and choosing the best can be little confusion right? According to the news published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine shortly reported that regardless of mask-type, fewer coronavirus particles get through to people wearing face coverings. And few particles could result in milder infections if the virus manages to slip through. Another study compared to COVID-19 growth rate before and after mask mandates in 15 states and the District of Columbia has found that mask mandates coincided with slowdowns in daily COVID-19 growth rates.
Researchers from Duke University have published another study on the effectiveness of 14 different types of masks by estimating how many droplets traveled through the mask during normal speech. For this research, they have used a laser beam, a lens that turned a laser beam into a sheet of light, and a mirror that directed light into a dark box made of cardboard. People spoke the same phrase into the box with, and without a mask. The particles that hit the lens produced visible flashes recorded by a phone’s camera on the other end of the box. One of the study’s co-authors, Warren S. Warren, a professor of physics, chemistry, and radiology at Duke said “The key point of this paper is that we are proposing a very simple, easily duplicated system, where community groups could actually test masks themselves.”
Most effective kind of masks against COVID-19
Varieties of masks are available in the market, so here is the list of most effective kinds of masks against COVID-19.
- Fitted N95 mask
A mask with no exhalation valve, this one is the most effective and the CDC asks the general public to not wear N95 respirators. But Medical N95 masks are limited in supply.
- Three-layer surgical mask
Wearing a three-layer surgical mask is effective because only a tiny fraction of droplets got through. These types of masks are single-use only and are made to protect the wearer’s nose and mouth from contact with droplets, splashes, and sprays that may contain germs. Also, they help to filter out large particles in the air.
- Cotton-polypropylene-cotton mask
This mask is made from two layers of cotton and one layer of synthetic material, which is proved to be the most protective option aside from masks intended for medical professionals. And the recent study has reported that a homemade cloth face masks likely need two or three layers to be effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
- Polypropylene apron mask
This type of mask is made up of two layers of polypropylene, a soft easy-to-clean synthetic fabric. Polypropylene is one of the most popular materials for masks because viruses and bacteria can’t live on the fabric for long. According to the studies, polypropylene is one of the best materials for a homemade mask. Because it has the electrostatic charge that traps incoming and outgoing particles and it loses its electrostatic charge when washed, but can be recharged by rubbing it with a plastic glove.
- Valved N95
Valved N95 masks can decrease the protection of the people around because the masks release exhaled air through their openings, according to the CDC.
- Neck fleece
This could be the most dangerous and ranked worse than no mask at all, because the porous fabric may break the larger particles into smaller ones. Smaller particles remain in the air longer than large droplets.
The study published in June in the journal Physics of Fluids proved that bandanna is one of the least effective. It can reduce the range of particles expelled during a cough, it scores lower than an uncovered cough at stopping the smallest aerosolized respiratory droplets.