Countries throughout the world have told their people to use masks, be it surgical, a homemade face mask made from cloth, or any material to help protect them from COVID-19.
However, the underlying protective benefits of all these masks remain questionable.
In a brand new study just published in the last week or so, scientists have visual proof of what type of material is best suited for making a homemade face mask to protect you from breathing in droplets infected with COVID-19.
The detailed and elaborate study did prove that one particular material can completely stop the droplets from passing through, and it is even more effective than an N95 mask.
This study explains that as it stands right now, the primary way to get infected is from droplets in close quarters.
For months many skeptics argued that since there is no scientific evidence that face masks work, no one should use them.
The findings in this study will shed some light into the skepticism.
The Experiment With Homemade Face Masks
What scientists did was that they tested numerous household materials that people have been using to make a homemade face mask to determine which had the best filtration potential against infected droplets.
They also tested surgical masks and FFP3 ((N95) masks to determine the overall efficacy of all masks.
All material was tested one by one in a particular machine (See figure 1. below – Under a Creative Commons license).
Each material was attached and secured tightly on the rectangular-shaped flow channel made out of glass.
They also attached a powerful digital camera that could capture video footage of the droplets being shot at the material with an aerosol generator.
A unique laser light provided the lighting so the camera could easily film the droplets and see if they penetrated the material.
The following material was tested:
- Surgical face mask
- Hygienic mask
- Toilet paper
- Paper towel
- Coffee filter
- Microfibre cloth
- Vacuum cleaner bag
- FFP3 mask with valve (N95)
- Halyard H600 (Sterilization Wrap)
The droplets were aerosolized through each material at the same force, speed, and distance.
All the droplets were less than two micrometers in size. If these droplets could be stopped from going through, anything larger than that would also bee stopped in a real-life situation.
Note: Although COVID-19 viruses are about one micrometer in size, they ordinarily attach themselves to other substances in the air, like saliva, dust, etc., making them large enough to be above two micrometers.
Simultaneously, the camera filmed the entire experiment to determine if any of the materials could filter out the droplets. (Click here to see the entire experiment results on video)
After watching the video, it becomes clear that the best material that can protect you from COVID-19 are vacuum cleaner bags.
The results showed that the only material that could filter out COVID-19 infected droplets to a very high degree were the vacuum cleaner bag material, and the FFP3 (N95) mask.
Note: This study does not suggest that surgical masks or other homemade masks are not effective. They can still help slow down the spread of COVID-19 but to a lesser degree compared to vacuum cleaner material and N95 masks.
Is Vacuum Cleaner Bag Material Safe For Use In Making A Homemade Face Mask
Is There Fiberglass In Vacuum Cleaner Bags?
According to the evidence, there is nothing harmful about using vacuum cleaner bag material to make masks out of.
Contrary to some rumors, there is no fiberglass in this material.
The video below demonstrates that there is no fiberglass in vacuum cleaner bags. It also proves that it is much stronger than an N95 mask at filtering out particles.
In the last several months there has been an enormous amount of controversy concerning face masks. Maybe the new study mentioned in this article will clarify things a bit.
It has scientifically proven that vacuum bags can stop almost 100% of the droplets from passing through into your mouth or nose.
The study also emphasized that,
- “…wearing simple homemade or surgical face masks in public is highly recommended if no particle filtrating respiratory mask is available.”
In other words, use whatever material you can to protect yourself. Put the odds in your favor at all times.
This virus should not be underestimated because you do not know how your body will react to it if you get infected, no matter what age you are.
Protect yourself! Wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.