High-performance masks are now available.
High-performance masks are made to a specification that exceeds the filtration efficiency of industry standard masks. They deliver this performance on particles down to 10 nanometers, which exceeds NIOSH specifications. All masks are equipped with a robust non-springy nose wire that can be shaped to seal to your face and nose.
If you want a reusable mask that looks nice and outperforms industry standard masks, you have found it here. They look the same as the standard masks but weigh slightly more because they contain three layers.
How do these masks work? In April of 2020, six researchers decided to collect samples of numerous fabrics used to make reusable masks and measure their filtration efficiency with the same equipment used to test industry standard masks like the N95. Since the topic here is viruses, the researchers enhanced the testing setup with a particle generator producing particles down to just 10 nanometers in size, making the test even more demanding.
Cotton, flannel, silk, and other materials were tested at 1, 2, and 4 layers, and then in various combinations. The researchers expected a cotton/silk combination to perform the best because of the electrostatic interaction between the two materials. Cotton/silk showed 92 percent efficiency. But, they discovered that cotton plus 90/10 chiffon performed even better, reaching 97 to 98 percent efficiency.
This work appears in a peer reviewed scientific paper published by the American Chemical Society here:
High-performance masks are made with an outer layer of high thread count cotton, an inner layer of 90/10 chiffon, and a comfortable inner layer of cotton muslin like the standard masks.
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