Mask Protection Study

A group of researchers at Duke University created a simple technique to analyze the effectiveness of various types of masks, which have become a critical component in stopping the spread of the virus. Researchers tested 14 commonly available masks. First the test was performed with a speaker talking without wearing a mask. Next, while a speaker was wearing a mask. Each mask was tested 10 times.

The most effective mask was the fitted N95. Three-layer surgical masks and cotton masks, which many people have been making at home, also performed well. Neck fleeces, also called gaiter masks and often used by runners, were the least effective and resulted in a higher number of respiratory droplets. The material seemed to break down larger droplets into smaller particles that are more easily carried away with air. Folded bandanas and knitted masks also performed poorly and did not offer much protection. {Duke Health}