Which Mask Styles Work And Which Don’t

Researchers at Duke University made a discovery while testing 14 different types of masks, according to the study published Friday. N95 masks, often used by health care professionals, worked best to stop the transmission of respiratory droplets during regular speech.

Other good performers at stopping leakage were three-layer surgical masks and cotton masks, which can be made at home, the researchers with Duke’s physics department found.

But while bandannas and knitted face coverings may be a unique look, they did not offer much protection, according to the study. The scientists also discovered that neck fleeces, or neck gaiters, often worn by runners, were the least effective and actually allowed more respiratory droplets to escape than not wearing a mask at all.

That’s because they were shown to break down larger droplets into smaller particles, allowing them to slip out the sides of the covering more easily.

Here’s how they ranked the different styles based on the spread of droplets while saying “Stay healthy, people” five times.

  1. N95 mask, no exhalation valve, fitted
  2. Surgical mask, 3-layer mask
  3. Cotton-polypropylene-cotton mask
  4. 2-layer polypropylene apron mask
  5. Swath of mask material, polypropylene
  6. 2-layer cotton, pleated style mask
  7. 2-layer cotton, pleated style mask
  8. N95 mask with exhalation valve
  9. 2-layer cotton, Olson style mask
  10. 1-layer Maxima AT mask
  11. 1-layer cotton, pleated style mask
  12. 2-layer cotton, pleated style mask
  13. Knitted mask
  14. Double-layer bandana
  15. No Mask – The Control
  16. Gaiter type neck fleece

Based on their study results a 3 layer mask is as effective as a surgical mask, and neck gaiters are to be avoided. If you would like to see more on the study you can find it here.

Source: https://bit.ly/31FCCxt

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