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New Types of Masks Available or being worked on

Panina

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I am starting this thread for those who wear masks and might want other options then what they are wearing and to see what is being worked on. I hope this thread does not become a debate on mask wearing.

I personally hate my r95 but use that most of the time and then heat it after use at 170 Degrees in the oven for 30 minutes. I hate the process. I feel the bandanas and blue masks give minimal coverage, better then nothing. I also have a material sewn mask that the sewing club in my community made, which they also made for the local hospitals, which is harder to breathe in then the 95.
 
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Panina

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I believe in Israeli technology. They always have been ahead of the curve. I just received these. Expensive but being washable, breathable I am happy I did. They are fda approved but not commercially. My mom is wearing the disposable blue masks. Everything else she has a hard time breathing in. This one she won’t, hoping it really works. If you order there are discount codes out there.

 

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Antimicrobial Irridiation respirator
I saw this awhile back that it was being worked on and signed up to receive an email which I did that took me to this link. I am not a believer yet on safety and effectivenes And it is not fda approved, at least I can’t find it is.
 

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Linking the study, but interesting on the effectiveness of homemade mask materials. Interestingly tightly woven cotton with a chiffon or silk layer are pretty darn good! Of course it depends on fit. I see people are now putting “vents” in masks to make it more breathable- and have to wonder how that affects filtration efficacy. In this study small gaps dropped all Mask effectiveness over 50%
 

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T_R_Oglodyte

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I am starting this thread for those who wear masks and might want other options then what they are wearing and to see what is being worked on. I hope this thread does not become a debate on mask wearing.

I personally hate my r95 but use that most of the time and then heat it after use at 170 Degrees in the oven for 30 minutes. I hate the process. I feel the bandanas and blue masks give minimal coverage, better then nothing. I also have a material sewn mask that the sewing club in my community made, which they also made for the local hospitals, which is harder to breathe in then the 95.
Harder to breathe = more filtration.
Easier to breathe - less filtration.

Filtering particles from a fluid means forcing the fluid through small openings. That creates friction (resistance to flow). For an equal air flow, decreasing the size of the openings increases resistance, so the more effective the filter is, the greater the resistance to air flow.

I've been involved with pariculate filtration processes all of my career (water, wastewater, and air). Resistance to flow is a key parameter, and there is a minimum resistance that is required to ensure effectiveness. With a fixed filter medium, such as a mask, increasing resistance during use is considered demonstration of performance.

It also takes only a very small opening or seal failure to compromise the filtration. In applications where fine mesh fabric filters are used for particulate removal (99.9% removal of particulates < 2.5 µ size vs. the 95% standard for a N-95 mask), an opening that is as little as 1% of the total filter will end up passing 90% of the air flow without treatment.

***************

Your takeaways should be:

1. If you want to filter what you inhale, you need to insist on a mask that has resistance to air flow.

2. Most people who are wearing N-95 masks are not wearing them properly.

3. The mask does not protect you. It protects others from you. Even if a mask leaks around the edges it will greatly limit the spread of droplets.
 

Panina

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Harder to breathe = more filtration.
Easier to breathe - less filtration.

Filtering particles from a fluid means forcing the fluid through small openings. That creates friction (resistance to flow). For an equal air flow, decreasing the size of the openings increases resistance, so the more effective the filter is, the greater the resistance to air flow.

I've been involved with pariculate filtration processes all of my career (water, wastewater, and air). Resistance to flow is a key parameter, and there is a minimum resistance that is required to ensure effectiveness. With a fixed filter medium, such as a mask, increasing resistance during use is considered demonstration of performance.

It also takes only a very small opening or seal failure to compromise the filtration. In applications where fine mesh fabric filters are used for particulate removal (99.9% removal of particulates < 2.5 µ size vs. the 95% standard for a N-95 mask), an opening that is as little as 1% of the total filter will end up passing 90% of the air flow without treatment.

***************

Your takeaways should be:

1. If you want to filter what you inhale, you need to insist on a mask that has resistance to air flow.

2. Most people who are wearing N-95 masks are not wearing them properly.

3. The mask does not protect you. It protects others from you. Even if a mask leaks around the edges it will greatly limit the spread of droplets.
#3, my logical minds says it gives me some protection. If the particles can’t get out and protect others, the reverse should happen too...but the eyes is another wrinkle.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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#3, my logical minds says it gives me some protection. If the particles can’t get out and protect others, the reverse should happen too...but the eyes is another wrinkle.
Visit your optometrist and order some glasses with side shields. In industrial settings that is what is used to provide side protection to the eyes.

Once you eliminate that hazard, the remaining eye-contact hazard is your own hands touching your face near your eyes. That is something you can control. And wearing glasses with side shields will keep you from inadvertently touching your eyes, as when you might reflexively wipe the corner of your eye.
 
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CalGalTraveler

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I am increasingly using a face shield because it not only protects others but the plastic protects me and my eyes. Very comfortable, light and little fogging. Also reduces touching your face. I posted this on another thread but will include here:

 

Talent312

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DW went to JoAnn fabrics to buy stuff to make her own masks
She uses a thin inner felt lining and and outer decorative fabric.
She chose the color+pattern was chosen to match our outfits.
I'm not allowed to wear a blue mask with brown or khaki clothes.
 

dmbrand

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I wore a face shield for the first time while volunteering at our local thrift shop; much easier to communicate and breathe while cashiering. The store only allowed 10 people inside at a time, and a face covering was mandatory for shoppers as well. With all the cash changing hands, and handling of merchandise, hand washing seems to be the key to cutting down on transmission.
 

rickandcindy23

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I am wearing an N95 mask and just hate it. The Disney ones are on back order on the website. You would think they could get them out quickly, but apparently not.

The ones Mike Lindell is selling on the My Pillow site don't have much description. They say reusable. Does that mean washable? I might order a few and see how they are. I was going to order a couple of other things, anyway. They have the very best bed sheets. I am picky about sheets, some make me sweat (Costco ones definitely make me sweat). The My Pillow ones wear like iron. I want to get some for my guest room.
 

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The ones Mike Lindell is selling on the My Pillow site don't have much description. They say reusable. Does that mean washable? I might order a few and see how they are. I was going to order a couple of other things, anyway. They have the very best bed sheets. I am picky about sheets, some make me sweat (Costco ones definitely make me sweat). The My Pillow ones wear like iron. I want to get some for my guest room.

That My Pillow guy is creepy. #justsaying
 

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Someone on FB mentioned hand washing the blue medical masks. I did that over the weekend and they dry crisply pleated and almost good as new. When Cliff comments on how fresh his mask is (we reuse them multiple times), I'd say that was a good review.
 

Panina

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Someone on FB mentioned hand washing the blue medical masks. I did that over the weekend and they dry crisply pleated and almost good as new. When Cliff comments on how fresh his mask is (we reuse them multiple times), I'd say that was a good review.

 

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Wait, we shouldn't use the same blue mask all month? That's why I washed them over the weekend so we'd start fresh for the month of June. :)
 

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I've been involved with pariculate filtration processes all of my career
What do you think of the study I linked? with the silk/chiffon layer providing electrostatic filtering? I found it interesting. I'm thinking a cotton/chiffon or cotton/silk well fitted mask would be breathable and good at filtration.
<300nm >300nm
hybrid 1: cotton/chiffon 97 ± 2 99.2 ± 0.23.0hybrid
2: cotton/silk (no gap) 94 ± 2 98.5 ± 0.23.0hybrid
2: cotton/silk (gap) 37 ± 7 32 ± 33.0hybrid <----this is filter efficiency. dramatic drop with gap.
3: cotton/flannel 95 ± 2 96 ± 13.0

We've got double layer cotton masks an old college boss of my husband's made for us. I found them more comfortable than the disposable blue one, but they are warmer.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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What do you think of the study I linked? with the silk/chiffon layer providing electrostatic filtering? I found it interesting. I'm thinking a cotton/chiffon or cotton/silk well fitted mask would be breathable and good at filtration.
<300nm >300nm
hybrid 1: cotton/chiffon 97 ± 2 99.2 ± 0.23.0hybrid
2: cotton/silk (no gap) 94 ± 2 98.5 ± 0.23.0hybrid
2: cotton/silk (gap) 37 ± 7 32 ± 33.0hybrid <----this is filter efficiency. dramatic drop with gap.
3: cotton/flannel 95 ± 2 96 ± 13.0

We've got double layer cotton masks an old college boss of my husband's made for us. I found them more comfortable than the disposable blue one, but they are warmer.
At the outset, publication by ACS is a significant imprimatur. I will also caveat that my experience is more in the deployment of filtration media than the materials science development side.

That being said, here are some thoughts:
  • The general principle remains - you can choose breathability or you can chose good filtration. You can't have both. Fine particulate filtration requires energy.
  • Table 1 references a pressure drop (ΔP) across the filter of 2.2 - 3.0 Pa. That is an unbelievably small number - so small as to likely be unmeasurable with their test setup. It's also indicates that essentially no mechanical filtration is occurring, which would conflict with information in the paper. For comparison, a fabric filter designed for 99% removal of dust <2.5 micrometers (2500 nanometers), would likely have a minimum pressure drop of about 1250 Pa, about 1000x higher. Which makes me think that the data in Table 1 are actually kPa. The reference indicates that units for data in Figure 2 were corrected post-submittal and publication. I wonder if that isn't also true for Table 1. Perhaps I'm wrong and those data are correct. But if I were doing peer review on the article, absolutely I would flag that and would recommend review and resubmittal prior to publication.
  • If Table 1 is actually kPa, that's a noticeable pressure drop. 2.5 kPa is the same as 10-inches of water. So for reference, imagine having a soda (or soda pop, or pop, or Coke) in a Big Gulp size container that is close to empty. How hard do you have to suck on the straw? That's in the ball park of 10-inches of water, so that is how hard you would have to suck to pull air across a mask with 2.5 kPa pressure drop. But unlike a Big Gulp, where you can suck and breathe a bit for taking another sip, with a mask every breath would require that effort. And that is actually consistent with what I would expect for a filtration/particulate removal system that is achieving the performance suggested by their results.
  • The study used a NaCl (sodium chloride, aka table salt) particle generator. NaCl is an inorganic salt, and is highly ionic. The COVID-19 virus is part of a family of viruses that are identified as "enveloped" viruses - which means that the exterior of the virus is a lipid (fat or oil). Lipids, by their nature, are the antithesis of ionic materials. In the kitchen, think about the difference between adding salt to a pot of water versus adding butter or cooking oil. The article mentions electrostatic attraction, but if a particle is not ionized, electrostatic forces don't come into play. So in that regard, I have reservations about the relevance of electrostatic attraction as removal mechanism for the COVID-19 virus. Again, if I were doing peer review on the article I would flag that and request that the relevance of electrostatic forces in the removal of the virus be documented or demonstrated.
  • With my prior point in mind, non-ionic particles that acquire a water-soluble exterior will also develop an ionic charge. That trait is often used to allow such materials to be sorbed from a fluid stream. Many bodily fluids have the ability to attach to a lipid material and make the material transportable in the body (blood or lymph system). That's how our bodies move fat around. So when the virus is expelled from respiratory system, prior to evaporation of the surface water phase the virus could respond to electrostatic forces. Any layer that provides electrostatic removal would have a finite capacity . When that capacity is expended, electrostatic attraction is no longer relevant.
  • The presence and importance of electrostatic attraction is assumed, without supporting data on how significant that might be. (It's possible that in a my quick overview of the article I overlooked those data.). The simple test would be to look at removal vs. head loss (while maintaining all other parameters constant) for presumed electrostatic and non-electrostatic materials. If electrostatic is a significant parameter, then the electrostatic materials would show higher removal efficiency for similar headloss. And the related question would be how well that differences sustains over time.
  • The testing was done under ideal, lab conditions. Real-life conditions are never the laboratory. (A principle that was burned into me at 19-yrs old when a wonderful boss entrusted me to make my first significant engineering decision, and didn't come unglued when the decision flopped. But that's another story.)
****************

Long-winded I'm sure - but this would be my bottom-line.

1. The more sophisticated design you are talking certainly wouldn't be any worse, and could be better. If it makes you feel less anxious that is probably good. But without more data, you shouldn't think that you are equalling or exceeding the capabilities of a properly constructed, fitted, and deployed N95 mask.

2. If there is not significant resistance during inhalation (think of my 7-11 Big Gulp analogy), do not presume that you are getting significant removal of micron and sub-micron size particulates.
 
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Maple_Leaf

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At the outset, publication by ACS is a significant imprimatur. I will also caveat that my experience is more in the deployment of filtration media than the materials science development side.

That being said, here are some thoughts:
  • The general principle remains - you can choose breathability or you can chose good filtration. You can't have both. Fine particulate filtration requires energy.
  • Table 1 references a pressure drop (ΔP) across the filter of 2.2 - 3.0 Pa. That is an unbelievably small number - so small as to likely be unmeasurable with their test setup. It's also indicates that essentially no mechanical filtration is occurring, which would conflict with information in the paper. For comparison, a fabric filter designed for 99% removal of dust <2.5 micrometers (2500 nanometers), would likely have a minimum pressure drop of about 1250 Pa, about 1000x higher. Which makes me think that the data in Table 1 are actually kPa. The reference indicates that units for data in Figure 2 were corrected post-submittal and publication. I wonder if that isn't also true for Table 1. Perhaps I'm wrong and those data are correct. But if I were doing peer review on the article, absolutely I would flag that and would recommend review and resubmittal prior to publication.
  • If Table 1 is actually kPa, that's a noticeable pressure drop. 2.5 kPa is the same as 10-inches of water. So for reference, imagine having a soda (or soda pop, or pop, or Coke) in a Big Gulp size container that is close to empty. How hard do you have to suck on the straw? That's in the ball park of 10-inches of water, so that is how hard you would have to suck to pull air across a mask with 2.5 kPa pressure drop. But unlike a Big Gulp, where you can suck and breathe a bit for taking another sip, with a mask every breath would require that effort. And that is actually consistent with what I would expect for a filtration/particulate removal system that is achieving the performance suggested by their results.
  • The study used a NaCl (sodium chloride, aka table salt) particle generator. NaCl is an inorganic salt, and is highly ionic. The COVID-19 virus is part of a family of viruses that are identified as "enveloped" viruses - which means that the exterior of the virus is a lipid (fat or oil). Lipids, by their nature, are the antithesis of ionic materials. In the kitchen, think about the difference between adding salt to a pot of water versus adding butter or cooking oil. The article mentions electrostatic attraction, but if a particle is not ionized, electrostatic forces don't come into play. So in that regard, I have reservations about the relevance of electrostatic attraction as removal mechanism for the COVID-19 virus. Again, if I were doing peer review on the article I would flag that and request that the relevance of electrostatic forces in the removal of the virus be documented or demonstrated.
  • With my prior point in mind, non-ionic particles that acquire a water-soluble exterior will also develop an ionic charge. That trait is often used to allow such materials to be sorbed from a fluid stream. Many bodily fluids have the ability to attach to a lipid material and make the material transportable in the body (blood or lymph system). That's how our bodies move fat around. So when the virus is expelled from respiratory system, prior to evaporation of the surface water phase the virus could respond to electrostatic forces. Any layer that provides electrostatic removal would have a finite capacity . When that capacity is expended, electrostatic attraction is no longer relevant.
  • The presence and importance of electrostatic attraction is assumed, without supporting data on how significant that might be. (It's possible that in a my quick overview of the article I overlooked those data.). The simple test would be to look at removal vs. head loss (while maintaining all other parameters constant) for presumed electrostatic and non-electrostatic materials. If electrostatic is a significant parameter, then the electrostatic materials would show higher removal efficiency for similar headloss. And the related question would be how well that differences sustains over time.
  • The testing was done under ideal, lab conditions. Real-life conditions are never the laboratory. (A principle that was burned into me at 19-yrs old when a wonderful entrusted me to make my first significant engineering decision. But that's another story.)
****************

Long-winded I'm sure - but this would be my bottom-line.

1. The more sophisticated design you are talking certainly wouldn't be any worse, and could be better. If it makes you feel less anxious that is probably good. But without more data, you shouldn't think that you are equalling or exceeding the capabilities of a properly constructed, fitted, and used N95 mask.

2. If there is not significant resistance during inhalation (think of my 7-11 Big Gulp analogy), do not presume that you are getting significant removal of micron and sub-micron size particulates.

OK, thanks for the info

I'll pass on manufacturing my own improved mask
 

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Real-life conditions are never the laboratory
This is what always strikes me too.
I really do appreciate the breakdown and I understood it too! The challenge is there aren't very many real world studies on masks in general, or not any that are actually designed decently anyway. And the few that are out there are always fitted surgical masks vs respirators-not homemade cloth ones.
I'm really not concerned about the mask-we have double layer cotton and the paper one use ones. Paper ones fit better and easier to breathe through so probably not as effective as a tighter dbl cotton one. But yeah-the principle of breathe easier vs filtration is intuitive I'd think? Yet we are told "cloth face coverings" like they are all the same, and that probably irritates me more than anything lol. It's funny because both CDC and WHO state homemade cloth facemasks are NOT considered PPE-but we have thousands of volunteers making cloth face masks for healthcare workers (to use as part of their PPE).

Again-thank you sooooo much for the breakdown and explanation!
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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It's funny because both CDC and WHO state homemade cloth facemasks are NOT considered PPE-but we have thousands of volunteers making cloth face masks for healthcare workers (to use as part of their PPE).

Again-thank you sooooo much for the breakdown and explanation!
I believe that many healthcare workers use the cloth masks over their their N-95 or N-mask. That would reduce the work done by the mask (coarse particles would be caught by the cloth), would protect the N-95 mask from physical damage, and would help keep the N-95 mask in place.
 
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