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Home / HT School / Best material for effective homemade masks to curb pandemic spread identified

Best material for effective homemade masks to curb pandemic spread identified

The study, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, used a laser to map out the paths of droplets as they were coughed and sneezed out of a mannequin head, and examined how different mask designs and materials altered these paths.

ht-school Updated: Jul 03, 2020 19:59 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
New York
The study used a laser to map out the paths of droplets as they were coughed and sneezed out of a mannequin head and examined how different mask designs and materials altered these paths.
The study used a laser to map out the paths of droplets as they were coughed and sneezed out of a mannequin head and examined how different mask designs and materials altered these paths. (AP FILE)

Scientists have experimented with non-medical grade masks, and found that well-fitted ones made from stitching two layers of quilting cotton fabric are the most effective in stopping the spread of cough and sneeze droplets, whereas bandana-style coverings “had little to no effect.” The study, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, used a laser to map out the paths of droplets as they were coughed and sneezed out of a mannequin head, and examined how different mask designs and materials altered these paths.

While the use of face masks is widely recommended by public health officials during the Covid-19 pandemic, relatively few specific guidelines pertaining to mask materials and designs are available, according to the researchers from Florida Atlantic University in the US.

“While there are a few prior studies on the effectiveness of medical-grade equipment, we don’t have a lot of information about the cloth-based coverings that are most accessible to us at present,” said Siddhartha Verma, a co-author of the study.

“Our hope is that the visualisations presented in the paper help convey the rationale behind the recommendations for social distancing and using face masks,” Verma said.

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