February 26, 2024

No mask avoids droplets except few like N95, Study suggests

“N95 masks with no valves effectively blocked droplets spread”

Buying masks i.e. N95 masks or making it at home, all you are doing is to avoid coronavirus particles. Meanwhile, some scientists have driven with simple methods that visualize how these masks prevent airborne infected particles.

Since the COVID outbreak, two questions have been hovering around, first, from where COVID 19 originally came? And second, a debatable one, which mask is better to avoid COVID19 droplets. Now, leave first question for geopolitical supremacy or WHO study, let’s encircle what scientist are exploring.

The techniques used by the scientists are still in its early stage. It is yet to collate conclusive facts and findings. According to the journal Science Advances, the technique has so far only been tested in a small group of people, so more updates are yet to come.

Researcherss from Duke University, US, elucidated, the preliminary findings shows that hand made masks and professional-grade masks including N95 masks, surgical masks or polypropylene masks may block droplet produced while mask wearer speaks. 

In their preliminary findings, they iterated that neck flees and bandanas provide less protection than masks to mask wearer. The scientist closely observed that droplets are easily expelled through bandanas or neck flees. They backed it with a reason that the material breaks up quite larger droplets, which might possess greater risk.

The scientists efficiently evaluated comprehensively the effectiveness of different masks (14 types) and other possible face coverings. The speaker with covered faces with either mask or other material, uttered “ stay healthy, people” 5 times in laser beam direction, which actively scattered light  from expelled droplets released while speaking.

The study used a basic approach in which either 1 male speaker or in specific case 4 male speakers stands in a dark enclosure wearing each mask.

The scientists further added, Soon, they spoke the droplets were recoded by the cell phone camera, and these were counted by a basic computer algorithm.  The researchers explained it an intentionally designed setup, which will be inexpensive and simple for non experts so that it can be easily replicated.

Researchers allotted $250 for required commonly available hardware like laser equipment. It’s proved near like economical test.

According to  Martin Fischer, author of related study,” Our work was a demonstration of a simple measurement method, not a systematic mask study,”

Fischer further added, “More work is required to investigate variations in masks, speakers, and how people wear them. We also want to extend our method to other droplet-generating actions, like coughing and sneezing. Further, we want to explore the effects of incorrect placement and moisture saturation,”

Still, the researchers reiterated the requirement for further testing. According to the findings they suggested that N95 masks with no valves effectively blocked droplets spread, while surgical masks or polypropylene masks and handmade face coverings (cotton made) were also proved quite effective.

The findings supported the fact that neck lees and bandanas fail to provide protection to wearer.

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