Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, a wide variety of mask options are available. How do they compare? Figure 1 shows masks arranged into a spectrum, roughly in order of their filtration efficiency. Different masks serve different tasks. A mask can function as source control (my mask protects you) and/or personal protective equipment (PPE) (my […]
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 […]
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 […]