MakerMask

General

Masking Children for School

The highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 is on the rise just as the school year begins. Vaccination is one of the most powerful tools to protect students and broader school communities. However, there is currently no authorized COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12. We must rely on other mitigation measures to protect them. In July 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both updated their guidance to recommend universal indoor masking for everyone in school, regardless of vaccination status, along with other mitigation measures. What masks should parents select to protect their children as they return to school? 

Making Sense of FDA Mask Designations

Shopping for a high-performing mask is a daunting task and claims of FDA approval would certainly make life easier but, spoiler alert, there’s no such thing as “FDA-approved” masks! There are however a number of FDA hoops that manufacturers can jump through to indicate some degree of quality and performance.  The goal of this post […]

Flying with Kids: Mask Selection and Risk Mitigation

With vaccinations on the rise, so are vacations and air travel. Many families are contemplating plans that involve flying with kids. This post presents mask information and risk management ideas related to flying with children. First we discuss how to select children’s face masks. Then we focus our attention on transmission risks specific to air […]

Fabric Mask Filtration Overview

This post aims to provide a basic understanding of fabric mask filtration through a broad overview of particle physics, disease transmission, and biology of particles. Introduction: How well do fabric masks filter? The question of how well any specific mask fabric combination blocks SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, turns out to be rather complex. […]

Double-Masking and the Science of Fabric Layering

In the spring of 2021 the CDC published advice on double-masking which was based on the results of a study published in February of this year. Although some people that have been fully vaccinated are wearing masks less frequently (per the CDC guidance published in May), there are  many instances where mask use is still […]

Fabric Mask Material Testing Results! ASTM 2100 and F3502

A huge thank you to everyone that has contributed to our fabric mask material testing campaign! The results from the testing campaign are finally in. We tested two different 3-layer fabric combinations to establish baseline performance for fluid resistance, breathability, bacterial filtration efficiency (~3um particles), and submicron particle efficiency (~0.3um). These tests focused on two […]

Masks for COVID: Literature Highlights

In this post we share some of our favorite articles about mask science. Since the beginning of this pandemic over 6000 papers have been published on masks. For scientists and sewists alike, sorting through all this information can be daunting! We have gathered our top recommendations for those looking to join us in immersing themselves […]

Washing Fabric Masks: Knowns and Unknowns

Recently, we’ve been hearing a lot of questions about washing and reusing fabric masks. There are a wide range of “best practices” emerging from government organizations, sewist groups, and journalists. This post discusses cleaning of masks containing spunbond non-woven polypropylene (NWPP) layers, and clarifies some distinctions between washing and disinfection.  Introduction First, a caveat — […]

New ASTM Standard for Face Coverings: ASTM F3502

Since February of 2020, we’ve been asking for standards for masks/face coverings used by our communities. Finally, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has established a national  standard for “Barrier Face Coverings” (ASTM F3502) that are neither medical masks according to ASTM F2100 standards nor respirators according to NIOSH standards. This new standard […]

Improving Mask Fit and Seal

As the pandemic progresses, more attention is being paid to incorporating design features that improve mask fit. To maximize the benefits of these design features, masks need to be put on (donned) and taken off (doffed) using techniques that people outside of the healthcare industries may not be as familiar with. In this post we […]

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