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Is there an adequate alternative to commercially manufactured face masks? A comparison of various materials and forms.
J Hosp Infect. 2020 Oct; 106(2):246-253.JH

Abstract

BACKGROUND

There is a worldwide shortage of medical-grade face masks. Donning masks can play an important role in curbing the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

AIM

To conclude whether there is an effective mask for the population to wear in public that could easily be made during a medical face mask shortage using readily available materials.

METHODS

We determined the effectiveness of readily available materials and models for making a face mask. The outcomes were compared with N95/FFP2/KN95 masks that entered the Netherlands in April-May 2020. Masks were tested to determine whether they filtered a minimum of 35% of 0.3-μm particles, are hydrophobic, seal on the face, are breathable, and can be washed.

FINDINGS

Fourteen of the 25 (combinations of) materials filtered at least 35% of 0.3-μm particles. Four of the materials proved hydrophobic, all commercially manufactured filters. Two models sealed the face. Twenty-two of the 25 materials were breathable at <0.7 mbar. None of the hydrophobic materials stayed intact after washing.

CONCLUSIONS

It would be possible to reduce the reproduction rate of SARS-CoV-2 from 2.4 to below one if 39% of the population would wear a mask made from ePM₁ 85% commercially manufactured filter fabric and in a duckbill form. This mask performs better than 80% of the imported N95/FFP2/KN95 masks and provides a better fit than a surgical mask. Two layers of quilt fabric with a household paper towel as filter is also a viable choice for protecting the user and the environment.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; The Municipal Public Health Service Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address: g.teesing@rotterdam.nl.Delft University of Technology, Department of BioMechanical Engineering, Delft, the Netherlands; Van Straten Medical, De Meern, the Netherlands.Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, Franciscus Gasthuis en Vlietland, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.Delft University of Technology, Department of BioMechanical Engineering, Delft, the Netherlands.

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32763333

Citation

Teesing, G R., et al. "Is There an Adequate Alternative to Commercially Manufactured Face Masks? a Comparison of Various Materials and Forms." The Journal of Hospital Infection, vol. 106, no. 2, 2020, pp. 246-253.
Teesing GR, van Straten B, de Man P, et al. Is there an adequate alternative to commercially manufactured face masks? A comparison of various materials and forms. J Hosp Infect. 2020;106(2):246-253.
Teesing, G. R., van Straten, B., de Man, P., & Horeman-Franse, T. (2020). Is there an adequate alternative to commercially manufactured face masks? A comparison of various materials and forms. The Journal of Hospital Infection, 106(2), 246-253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2020.07.024
Teesing GR, et al. Is There an Adequate Alternative to Commercially Manufactured Face Masks? a Comparison of Various Materials and Forms. J Hosp Infect. 2020;106(2):246-253. PubMed PMID: 32763333.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Is there an adequate alternative to commercially manufactured face masks? A comparison of various materials and forms. AU - Teesing,G R, AU - van Straten,B, AU - de Man,P, AU - Horeman-Franse,T, Y1 - 2020/08/05/ PY - 2020/05/21/received PY - 2020/07/22/accepted PY - 2020/8/9/pubmed PY - 2020/10/21/medline PY - 2020/8/9/entrez KW - Cloth KW - Filter KW - MERV KW - Surgical mask KW - ePM1 SP - 246 EP - 253 JF - The Journal of hospital infection JO - J Hosp Infect VL - 106 IS - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: There is a worldwide shortage of medical-grade face masks. Donning masks can play an important role in curbing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. AIM: To conclude whether there is an effective mask for the population to wear in public that could easily be made during a medical face mask shortage using readily available materials. METHODS: We determined the effectiveness of readily available materials and models for making a face mask. The outcomes were compared with N95/FFP2/KN95 masks that entered the Netherlands in April-May 2020. Masks were tested to determine whether they filtered a minimum of 35% of 0.3-μm particles, are hydrophobic, seal on the face, are breathable, and can be washed. FINDINGS: Fourteen of the 25 (combinations of) materials filtered at least 35% of 0.3-μm particles. Four of the materials proved hydrophobic, all commercially manufactured filters. Two models sealed the face. Twenty-two of the 25 materials were breathable at <0.7 mbar. None of the hydrophobic materials stayed intact after washing. CONCLUSIONS: It would be possible to reduce the reproduction rate of SARS-CoV-2 from 2.4 to below one if 39% of the population would wear a mask made from ePM₁ 85% commercially manufactured filter fabric and in a duckbill form. This mask performs better than 80% of the imported N95/FFP2/KN95 masks and provides a better fit than a surgical mask. Two layers of quilt fabric with a household paper towel as filter is also a viable choice for protecting the user and the environment. SN - 1532-2939 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32763333/Is_there_an_adequate_alternative_to_commercially_manufactured_face_masks_A_comparison_of_various_materials_and_forms_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0195-6701(20)30355-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -