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Testing the efficacy of homemade masks: would they protect in an influenza pandemic?
Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2013 Aug; 7(4):413-8.DM

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

This study examined homemade masks as an alternative to commercial face masks.

METHODS

Several household materials were evaluated for the capacity to block bacterial and viral aerosols. Twenty-one healthy volunteers made their own face masks from cotton t-shirts; the masks were then tested for fit. The number of microorganisms isolated from coughs of healthy volunteers wearing their homemade mask, a surgical mask, or no mask was compared using several air-sampling techniques.

RESULTS

The median-fit factor of the homemade masks was one-half that of the surgical masks. Both masks significantly reduced the number of microorganisms expelled by volunteers, although the surgical mask was 3 times more effective in blocking transmission than the homemade mask.

CONCLUSION

Our findings suggest that a homemade mask should only be considered as a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals, but it would be better than no protection.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Public Health England (HPA), Porton Down Salisbury, United Kingdom.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24229526

Citation

Davies, Anna, et al. "Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks: Would They Protect in an Influenza Pandemic?" Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, vol. 7, no. 4, 2013, pp. 413-8.
Davies A, Thompson KA, Giri K, et al. Testing the efficacy of homemade masks: would they protect in an influenza pandemic? Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2013;7(4):413-8.
Davies, A., Thompson, K. A., Giri, K., Kafatos, G., Walker, J., & Bennett, A. (2013). Testing the efficacy of homemade masks: would they protect in an influenza pandemic? Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 7(4), 413-8. https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2013.43
Davies A, et al. Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks: Would They Protect in an Influenza Pandemic. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2013;7(4):413-8. PubMed PMID: 24229526.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Testing the efficacy of homemade masks: would they protect in an influenza pandemic? AU - Davies,Anna, AU - Thompson,Katy-Anne, AU - Giri,Karthika, AU - Kafatos,George, AU - Walker,Jimmy, AU - Bennett,Allan, PY - 2013/11/16/entrez PY - 2013/11/16/pubmed PY - 2014/7/25/medline SP - 413 EP - 8 JF - Disaster medicine and public health preparedness JO - Disaster Med Public Health Prep VL - 7 IS - 4 N2 - OBJECTIVE: This study examined homemade masks as an alternative to commercial face masks. METHODS: Several household materials were evaluated for the capacity to block bacterial and viral aerosols. Twenty-one healthy volunteers made their own face masks from cotton t-shirts; the masks were then tested for fit. The number of microorganisms isolated from coughs of healthy volunteers wearing their homemade mask, a surgical mask, or no mask was compared using several air-sampling techniques. RESULTS: The median-fit factor of the homemade masks was one-half that of the surgical masks. Both masks significantly reduced the number of microorganisms expelled by volunteers, although the surgical mask was 3 times more effective in blocking transmission than the homemade mask. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that a homemade mask should only be considered as a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals, but it would be better than no protection. SN - 1938-744X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24229526/full_citation L2 - https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S1935789313000438/type/journal_article DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -