Among all the many different things we didn’t expect to happen this year, shopping for a mask in order to enter banks and other shops is way up there as one of the oddest. The next challenge of knowing which face covering to use is a whole other minefield. As well as some masks being in short supply due to the need to reserve them for healthcare professionals, not all masks are equally effective. Fortunately, scientists are hard at work to determine which masks are best at filtering out ultrafine particles when we cough. In a new study, researchers from the University of Cambridge and Northwestern University examined the effectiveness of a wide range of masks and fabrics at containing virus particles between 0.02 and 0.1 micrometres at the velocity of an adult coughing. On top of this, they evaluated the breathing resistance of each material to see which material is most suitable for becoming a face mask. “There was an initial panic around PPE and other types of face masks, and how effective they were,” first author Eugenia O’Kelly, from Cambridge’s Department of Engineering, said in a statement . “As an engineer, I wanted to learn more about […]


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