Masks: So Many Choices- Which is Best?

Angie Szumlinski
|
July 21, 2020
Nurse wearing mask

In a study published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) on June 30, 2020, they discussed different types of masks and their effectiveness at preventing droplet spread. It was noted that although masks may help mitigate the risk of spreading infection via respiratory droplets, there are no specific guidelines on mask materials and designs. The study found that loosely folded face masks and bandana-style coverings provide minimal stopping-capability for the smallest aerosolized respiratory droplets.

Homemade, well-fitted masks with multiple layers of quilting fabric and off-the-shelf cone style masks proved to be the most effective in reducing droplet dispersal. The study involved testing several different types of masks and findings include:

Mask TypeMaterialThreads/inchAverage Jet Distance
UncoveredNoneNone~8 feet
BandanaElastic t-shirt material85~3 feet 7 inches
Folded HankerchiefCotton55~One foot 3 inches
Stitched MaskQuilting cotton702.5 inches
Commercial MaskUnknownRandomly Assorted8 inches

So, as you determine which mask is best for you, consider these statistics and make the right choice. At the end of the day, masks are required so choose wisely. Stay well, stay safe and stay tuned!

Read the full study here.


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