A new study has found that while it is clear that masks reduce the spread of the coronavirus, it really does matter what kind of a mask a person is wearing, writes Tom Avril for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The study performed by engineers at Florida Atlantic University used a mannequin to simulate coughing and a pump that sprayed a mixture of gelatin and water. The researchers then measured how far simulated droplets of saliva travel through different coverings.
It was determined that with no mask, droplets travel 8 feet. With single-layer bandanna from T-shirt material, droplets traveled 3 feet and 7 inches.
Folded cotton handkerchief reduced this travel distance to 1 foot and three inches, while a stitched mask made of cotton quilting fabric brought the travel distance down to just 2.5 inches.
Meanwhile, with a commercial, non-hospital-grade “cone-style” mask, droplets traveled 8 inches.
The findings were consistent with what other studies have found, said Manhar R. Dhanak, one of the study authors.
He added that in addition to having a high thread count, masks should be a snug fit.
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