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?
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Mask Math/Science Vignette: Mask Straps According to the guidance released by the WHO in December mask straps should be designed to withstand at least 10 lbs of force ( 44.5 Newtons). The materials that most straps are constructed from (e.g., cotton straps and silicone bands) easily meet these requirements. However, we’ve seen a number of […]
How Do I Choose Fabrics for Masks for COVID-19? Since March, it seems like there has been a constant barrage of conflicting information about which fabrics are the best for masks for COVID-19. We’ve put together this crash course on mask fabrics to provide some of the fundamental concepts in fabrics and how they are relevant for our collective mask making efforts.
In an ideal world, the safety and efficacy of all of the fabrics and materials used in handmade masks for COVID-19 would be tested using the same standards and facilities used by researchers and large manufacturers. Unfortunately, very few people have access to these resources. In this post we provide instructions for three easy DIY […]
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are global shortages of N95 respirators resulting in large scale adoption of procedures and policies for the extended use and re-use of N95 respirators. In this post we do a deeper dive into the quantitative breathability data for the MakerMask: Cover, a breathable N95 mask cover. The […]
Almost everything comes with a label, from food to clothing to medicine to medical devices, and according to the FDA, face masks and cloth face coverings should come with labels too. More specifically, the Emergency Use Authorization for Face Masks released by the FDA April 24, 2020, includes labeling requirements for masks that are being […]