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Here’s a new study about the best mask material to add to your pile of mask studies. Do you have silk or flannel or chiffon lying around?

Maybe you’ve hacked together a DIY mask from an old T-shirt or pillowcase over the last few weeks. That’s probably good enough for most uses, but if you want to get precise about it, a new study suggests that a combination of two materials could do even more to protect you from spreading or getting the coronavirus. A mask made from a layer of high-thread-count cotton plus two layers of chiffon or silk performs nearly as well as an N95 mask—and does better than an N95 mask at capturing the smallest particles the scientists shot at it.

Shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending that Americans should wear cloth masks in public, researchers at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory began studying how well different fabrics worked. “We found that there was very little scientific data on the measurement of the filtration efficiencies of these masks,” says Supratik Guha, a professor of molecular engineering at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago.

In a lab at Argonne, the researchers used equipment to generate aerosols of sodium chloride, which is typically used to test commercial respirators. A fan blew the aerosols into a collection chamber, where the scientists measured the particles that made it past each fabric sample. The study looked at particles ranging from 10 nanometers to six micrometers—at the largest, roughly a tenth of the width of a human hair. Though epidemiologists believe that the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, most likely spreads through large droplets that quickly fall to the ground after someone coughs, sneezes, or talks, it’s still not settled whether tinier “aerosol” droplets that hang in the air longer could also spread the virus. The new study looked at a range of particle sizes since it isn’t yet clear how the virus is transmitted.

Read the complete article bo Adele Peters https://www.fastcompany.com/90498216/some-fabrics-might-filter-as-well-as-n95-masks-and-you-probably-have-them-at-home

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