Which Mask Material Provides the Best Protection from COVID-19

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S., finds that the type of material and number of fabric layers can significantly influence the risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2.Which Mask Material Provides the Best Protection from COVID-19

The scientists measured the filtration efficiency of submicron particles passing through various materials. They tested 33 commercially accessible materials not limited to cloth fabrics, including single-layer woven fabrics such as cotton and woven polyester, blended fabrics, nonwoven materials, cellulose-based materials, materials commonly found and used in hospitals, and various filter materials.

The analysis showed that the best materials for homemade masks were blackout drapery and sterilization wrap widely used for packing surgical instruments. Both materials are commercially available.

The scientists also note that the number of layers and mask fit also play an important role. Thus, the two-layered and three-layered samples showed an overall filtration efficiency of about 50% for submicron particles.

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