Coronavirus: Cotton masks more protective than bandanas
Cone-style well fitting masks and home-made coverings made from multiple fabric layers are the best designs for stopping the spread of coronavirus, study shows.
Researchers from Florida Atlantic University examined different materials and designs to find the best option for slowing the spread of virus carrying droplets.
These droplets are expelled when someone with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes and tests show loosely-folded masks and bandana-style coverings perform the worst.
According to researchers this is because those designs provide minimal stopping-capability for respiratory droplets which can spread up to 8ft if unobstructed.
They found a simple bandana-style mask can stop droplets going more than 3ft but a homemade well-fitting cotton-fabric stitched mask stops droplets at 2.5 inches.
The pathogen responsible for COVID-19 is mainly found in respiratory droplets expelled by infected individuals during coughing, sneezing, or even talking and breathing, the Florida team explained.
This explains governments' rationale for recommending face coverings - to reduce the risk of cross-infection from infected to healthy individuals.
On June 15 the UK government made face coverings compulsory on public transport in England - other countries have gone further, requiring them when out in public.
Despite this, the authorities have not yet announced guidelines on the best varieties of mask to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
Study lead researcher, Dr Stella Batalama, at Florida Atlantic University said they wanted to discover the best options for reducing the spread of COVID-19.
'Our researchers have demonstrated how masks are able to significantly curtail the speed and range of the respiratory droplets and jets ...
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