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Face masks are a simple way to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus through talking, coughing or sneezing, scientists and public-health specialists say. But they need to be worn properly.

While some types of masks are more effective than others, public-health officials say any face covering—even a bandanna—is better than nothing.

Here’s how different types of masks stack up, and how they are meant to be used.

Cut from different cloth

Common masks fall into three categories: cloth masks or coverings like gaiters, intended to prevent an infected person from spreading the virus by catching large droplets; surgical masks, with a more sophisticated design also meant to prevent the wearer from spreading diseases; and N95 masks, which protect the wearer as well, and fit tightly to the face.

Cloth

- Typically homemade

- Style and materials vary widely

- Prevents wearer from spreading disease

2020欧洲杯APP- Work in herd-immunity: the more wear masks,

2020欧洲杯APPthe more effective they are

2020欧洲杯APP- Wash after use

Surgical

2020欧洲杯APP- Loose fit

- Prevents wearer from spreading disease

- Dispose after use

- Made from a material called polypropylene

N95

- Tight fit, must be fit tested

2020欧洲杯APP- Protects wearer if fitted properly

2020欧洲杯APP- Limited quantity

Cloth

- Typically homemade

2020欧洲杯APP- Style and materials vary widely

- Prevents wearer from spreading disease

- Work in herd-immunity: the more wear masks, the more effective they are

2020欧洲杯APP- Wash after use

Surgical

2020欧洲杯APP- Loose fit

2020欧洲杯APP- Prevents wearer from spreading disease

- Dispose after use

- Made from a material called polypropylene

N95

- Tight fit, must be fit tested

- Protects wearer if fitted properly

- Limited quantity

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fit vs. function

A good cloth mask filters well and is comfortable to breathe through.

A cloth mask should consist of three layers: an inner layer near the mouth that can get moist, a middle filtration layer and an outer layer exposed to the outside environment. Here are the materials for homemade masks that do this best, according to the World Health Organization, using a scale that combines filter quality and breathability. A higher rating is better.

Breathability and filtration rating

2020欧洲杯APPPolypropylene

Cotton (Knit)

Polyester (Knit)

Cellulose

16.9

7.4

6.8

4.3

2020欧洲杯APPPolypropylene

Cotton (Knit)

16.9

7.4

Polyester (Knit)

Cellulose

4.3

6.8

Source: World Health Organization

How a mask fits is as important as what it is made of.

How to put on a mask

2

3

1

2

4

5

1

3

Surgical Mask

N95

1. 2020欧洲杯APPCheck for defects in the face mask, such as tears or

broken loops

 

2. 2020欧洲杯APPPlace one loop over each ear. Mask will contour to face,

but not as tightly as an N95.

 

3. Mask should sit on bridge of nose

1. Straps rest at the back of your head. An N95 will contour

tightly to face.

2. Mold metal strip to the shape of your nose

 

3. Re-adjust straps or nosepiece until a

2020欧洲杯APPproper seal is achieved

 

4. Place both hands over the respirator and breathe.

If there’s leakage, there is not a proper seal.

 

5. If you can’t get a proper seal, try a different N95 size

or model.

3

2

1

2020欧洲杯APPSurgical Mask

1. Check for defects in the face mask, such as tears

or broken loops

 

2. Place one loop over each ear. Mask will contour

to face, but not as tightly as an N95.

 

3. Mask should sit on bridge of nose

2

1

4

5

3

N95

1. Straps rest at the back of your head. An N95

will contour tightly to face.

2. 2020欧洲杯APPMold metal strip to the shape of your nose

 

3. Re-adjust straps or nosepiece until a

2020欧洲杯APPproper seal is achieved

 

4. Place both hands over the respirator and breathe.

If there’s leakage, there is not a proper seal.

 

5. If you can’t get a proper seal, try a different

2020欧洲杯APPN95 size or model.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

2020欧洲杯APPRemoving a mask properly is also important to prevent the spread of the virus.

Professional grade

2020欧洲杯APPN95 masks filter out at least 95% of very small particles when worn properly, including droplets carrying viruses. Versions with a plastic valve at the center, which makes the mask easier to exhale through, are intended for industrial workers and offer protection only to the wearer.

True N95s aren’t easy to wear properly. They must have a tight seal to the face to ensure that all air goes through the filter instead of around the edges. But they offer the best protection against2020欧洲杯APP the coronavirus, which is why the WHO recommends these masks be reserved for health-care workers.

A manufacturer business name

2020欧洲杯APPor logo should be printed on

the mask

2020欧洲杯APP“NIOSH”name

should appear on

an official N95 respirator

Model number

2020欧洲杯APPN95 respirators manufactured

after September 2008, must

have a TC-Approval number

The LOT number is an identification

2020欧洲杯APPnumber that may also include the

2020欧洲杯APPdate the mask was made. It’s

recommended2020欧洲杯APP, but not required.

3

2

5

1

4

1. 2020欧洲杯APP“NIOSH”name should appear on an official N95

respirator

 

2. A manufacturer business name or logo should be

2020欧洲杯APPprinted on the mask

 

3. Model number

 

4. N95 respirators manufactured after September

2008, must have a TC-Approval number

 

5. 2020欧洲杯APPThe LOT number is an identification number that

may also include the date the mask was made. It’s

recommended, but not required.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Photo: Shutterstock

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@kinofilmz.com

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