More Layers Are Better With Homemade Face Masks

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay reporter

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) – When it comes to homemade masks, two or three layers of fabric are best, researchers say.

It’s what you need to stop droplets from your nose and mouth from spreading the virus, Australian scientists have found.

Several types of materials have been suggested for making masks, but there is little or no evidence of their effectiveness, the team noted.

For the study, the researchers compared one and two-ply cotton masks (with a thread count of 170 per inch) with a 3-ply surgical mask.

The single-layer mask was made from a folded cotton T-shirt and the double-layer mask was made using the sewing method recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The results were published online July 23 in the journal Thorax.

Video recording showed the 3-ply surgical mask to be the most effective, but even a single-layer mask reduced the spread of droplets.

And the dual-layer mask was better than a single-layer mask, the researchers said in a press release.

Effectiveness may also depend on other factors, including the material used, design and fit, and how often the mask is washed, according to C. Raina MacIntyre of the Kirby Institute’s Biosafety Research Program at the ‘University of New South Wales, and colleagues. .

“The guidelines for homemade fabric masks should stipulate multiple layers,” the researchers concluded. “More evidence is needed to inform the design of safer fabric masks, and countries should ensure adequate manufacture or purchase of surgical masks.”

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SOURCE:Thorax, press release, July 23, 2020

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