Face Mask Technologies

This forum is to discuss general things concerning TSOI.
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Re: Face Mask Technologies

Post by trader32176 »

Bizarre full-face mask that makes you look like a Power Ranger and purifies the air you breathe while protecting you from video surveillance raises over $140,000 on Kickstarter


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech ... arter.html

The 'BLANC' mask from US developers uses two HEPA filters that last two weeks
They claim these replaceable filters can catch bacteria, viruses and pollution
Wearers can replace the front plates with those of different colours as desired
The mask prevents identification by facial recognition cameras and software
Such is a 'slippery slope to a world of supercharged policing', the designers said
Future upgrades will include an audio modulation module to change your voice

A creepy full-face mask that purifies the air you breathe while also completely hiding your identity has raised more than £110,000 in a Kickstarter campaign.

The BLANC mask is the brainchild of US developers, and features two high-efficiency, reusable and replaceable HEPA filters that each last for two weeks.

The two sides of the mask, held together by magnets, come apart along a vertical split to allow them to be replaced — with one of assorted colour and texture options.

Wearing a BLANC, the designers said, serves to prevent identification by facial recognition software and 'provides ultimate privacy in the digital age.'

Future updates will include further features to the same end — including a plug-in audio modulation component to mask the sound of your voice.

The mask is available to pre-order on Kickstarter, with prices starting at £59.

'We designed BLANC to create a change,' said the masks' creator, Phillip Egorov.

'It’s the world’s first full-face mask that creates a unique medium for your self-expression and creative personality, along with ensuring supreme protection from bacteria, pathogens, and viruses.'

'BLANC is more than just a PPE and definitely more than a fashion design mask. It’s a statement, it’s a privacy and it’s basically you.'

According to the designers, the BLANC mask offers a 180° airtight seal around the face.

'BLANC isn’t just a piece of cloth loosely draped across your mouth,' they said.

'[The] mask is designed to ergonomically fit against your face, creating an airtight enclosure.'

This design, they added, 'only feed[s] you air filtered through its HEPA filters.'

Public health experts have warned during the coronavirus crisis that mask wearers should avoid touching their masks whenever possible.

'With Blanc, there’s no need for readjustments throughout the day,' the team said.

'The interior chamber of Blanc is crafted to ergonomically adjust to your face.'

'And its super-comfortable wide headband perfectly locks the mask in place, without stretching your ears or squeezing your head.'

Moreover, the full face design inherently serves to stop the wearer from touching their face — a habit which is also discouraged to help lower the risk of spreading the coronavirus during the current pandemic.

Alongside protecting the wearer's health, the mask has been designed to maintain one's privacy.

'Facial recognition opens a slippery slope to a world of supercharged policing that’s likely to disproportionately impact people of colour through misidentification or just more surveillance of minority communities,' the designers wrote on their website.

'In a world where privacy is increasingly invaded, both online and out in the real world, you need a way to keep your identity off-grid. Away from face-recognition cameras and nosy onlookers.'

'With Blanc’s full-facial opaque protection, you decide when, where, and with whom you share your personal facial information.'

Various add-ons are planned for the mask in the near future — including a voice modulation module, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control features, head-up displays and augmented reality features.

More information on the Blanc masks can be found on their Kickstarter page.
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Re: Face Mask Technologies

Post by trader32176 »

Researchers examine how COVID-19 face masks can be made more effective


https://www.news-medical.net/news/20201 ... ctive.aspx

Face masks are helpful in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but researchers believe they can be made even more effective, something that has implications far beyond the current pandemic as masks could become a more commonly used public health intervention.

Kourosh Shoele, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, is part of a team that has received an $800,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve the efficacy of face masks as a defense against COVID-19 and other pathogens.

Shoele and his team hope to understand the flow physics and mechanics of face masks used to protect against the virus. They are also studying how face masks fit different users -- and how they can be designed for the faces of a wider swath of the general population.

" The protection afforded by face masks has emerged as a particularly important issue in the COVID-19 pandemic, and the flow physics of these types of masks is extremely complex and not well-studied, especially when it comes to the facial topology of the user."

- Kourosh Shoele, Assistant Professor in Department of Mechanical Engineering, Florida State University

The research findings are significant because widespread mask-wearing can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. For the masks to offer the best protection, they need to conform to the user's face.

Shoele hopes the data generated from the study may improve designs and provide scientific standards that will make face masks more protective. His lab, which includes doctoral students Tomas Solano and Tso-Kang Wang, is collaborating closely with professors at Johns Hopkins University and Brown University to look at different aspects using theory, computation and experiments.

"You may have noticed that your mask collapses onto your face when inhaling and re-inflates when exhaling," Solano said. "Or that your glasses fog up when using a mask. This shows perimeter leakage that can dramatically reduce the effectiveness of the mask. Many times, this is simply because the mask doesn't fit properly. We want to correct these problems."

Shoele hopes to use facial topology data to develop more computational and experimental tools that standardize guidelines for face mask design. The criteria established from the data will help characterize the performance of face masks.

"We are using innovative and powerful new tools to understand the flow physics and mechanics that determine how well the face mask protects," he said. "The quantitative analysis we use will provide data to better understand the viral transmission of disease and help us create better transmission models."

One of the techniques the scientists are using in the new study involved comparing digital images of facial geometries to how the mask moves on the different users' faces.

Using visible and X-ray techniques, the scientists take measurements inside and outside the face mask and look at how particles escape around the perimeter.

"We think the combined results of simulations and experiments could yield critical insights needed for the design of face masks," Shoele said. "The guidance we can provide will help scientists improve face mask design with standards that will help support public health policies."


Florida State University
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Re: Face Mask Technologies

Post by trader32176 »

Researchers test the protectiveness of consumer-grade and modified masks against COVID-19


https://www.news-medical.net/news/20201 ... ID-19.aspx

Using a custom-built exposure chamber, UNC School of Medicine and EPA scientists tested consumer-grade masks and improvised face coverings to show how effective they can be at protecting individuals from airborne particles of similar size to those carrying SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

It's been shown that when two people wearing masks interact, the chance of COVID-19 transmission is drastically reduced. This is why public health officials have pleaded for all people to wear masks: they not only protect the wearer from expelling particles that might carry SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), but masks also protect the wearer from inhaling particles that carry the virus. Some people, though, still refuse to wear a mask. So UNC School of Medicine scientists, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, researched the protectiveness of various kinds of consumer-grade and modified masks, assuming the mask wearer was exposed to the virus, like when we interact with an unmasked infected person.

Published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the research shows that some masks were as much as 79 percent effective at blocking particles that could carry the virus. These were masks made of two layers of woven nylon and fit snug against the wearer's face. Unmodified medical procedure masks with ear loops - also known as surgical masks - offered 38.5 percent filtration efficacy, but when the ear loops were tied in a specific way to tighten the fit, the efficacy improved to 60.3 percent. And when a layer of nylon was added, these masks offered 80 percent effectiveness.

" While modifications to surgical masks can enhance the filtering capabilities and reduce inhalation of airborne particles by improving the fit of the mask, we demonstrated that the fitted filtration efficiencies of many consumer-grade masks were nearly equivalent to or better than surgical masks."

- Phillip Clapp, PhD, Co-First Author, Inhalation Toxicologist, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UNC School of Medicine

Co-first author Emily Sickbert-Bennett, PhD, director of infection prevention at the UNC Medical Center, added, "Limiting the amount of virus is important because the more viral particles we're exposed to, the more likely it is we will get sick and potentially severely ill."

As the adoption of face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic became commonplace, there was a rapid expansion in the public use of commercial, home-made, and improvised masks which vary considerably in design, material, and construction. There have been a number of innovative "hacks," devices, and mask enhancements that claim to improve the performance characteristics of conventional masks - typically surgical or procedure masks. Despite their widespread dissemination and use during the pandemic, there have been few evaluations of the efficiency of these face coverings or mask enhancements at filtering airborne particles.

In this study, the researchers used a recently described methodological approach based on the OSHA Fit Test to determine the fitted filtration efficiency (FFE) of a variety of consumer-grade and improvised facemasks, as well as several popular modifications of medical procedure masks. Seven consumer-grade masks and five medical procedure mask modifications were fitted on an adult male, and FFE measurements were collected during a series of repeated movements of the torso, head, and facial muscles as outlined by the OSHA Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol.

Here are the different mask types with filtration efficacy. Bolded below is the top-of-the-line N-95 mask, which proved to be 98 percent effective.

Consumer-grade facemasks:

2-layer woven nylon mask, ear loops, w/o aluminum nose bridge: 44.7%
2-layer woven nylon mask, ear loops, w/ aluminum nose bridge: 56.7%
2-layer woven nylon mask, ear loops, w/ nose bridge, 1 non-woven insert: 74.4%
2-later woven nylon mask, ear loops, w/ nose bridge, washed, no insert: 79%
Cotton bandana - folded Surgeon General style: 50%
Cotton bandana - folded "Bandit" style: 49 %
Single-layer woven polyester gaiter/neck cover (balaclava bandana): 37.8%
Single-layer woven polyester/nylon mask with ties: 39.7%
Non-woven polypropylene mask with fixed ear loops: 28.6%
Three-layer woven cotton mask with ear loops: 26.5%

Medical facemasks and modifications:

3M 9210 NIOSH-approved N95 Respirator: 98%
Surgical mask with ties: 71.4%
Procedure mask with ear loops: 38.5%
Procedure mask with ear loops + "loops tied and corners tucked in": 60.3%
Procedure mask with ear loops + "Ear Guard": 61.7%
Procedure mask with ear loops + "23mm claw hair clip": 64.8%
Procedure mask with ear loops + "Fix-the Mask (3 rubber bands)": 78.2%
Procedure mask with ear loops + "nylon hosiery sleeve": 80.2%


University of North Carolina Health Care

Journal reference:

Clapp, P.W., et al. (2020) Evaluation of Cloth Masks and Modified Procedure Masks as Personal Protective Equipment for the Public During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Internal Medicine. doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.8168.
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Re: Face Mask Technologies

Post by trader32176 »

Methylene blue and light inactivates SARS-CoV-2 on N95 respirators and masks, study finds


https://www.news-medical.net/news/20201 ... finds.aspx

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), continues to spread worldwide. To date, there are over 73.13 million cases and 1.62 million deaths linked to COVID-19.

Throughout the pandemic, healthcare workers have grappled with overwhelming surges in severe or critical COVID-19 cases. Many countries reported a lack of supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and masks.

PPEs are necessary to protect frontline healthcare personnel when they treat a COVID-19 patient. The shortages highlight the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive ways to decontaminate SARS-CoV-2-exposed PPE, ensuring the safe re-use of masks and respirators.

A new multicenter study by an international team of researchers shows that methylene blue (MB) and light can decontaminate masks and respirators by inactivating three tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity. The method is effective, low-cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in any setting.

What is methylene blue?

Also known as methylthioninium chloride, methylene blue is a bright greenish-blue organic dye that belongs to the phenothiazine family.

Photochemical treatment is a disinfection method that uses a photosensitive drug, known as a photosensitizer. It is usually combined with visible light to produce singlet oxygen from ambient molecular oxygen in the air. The singlet oxygen inactivates viruses by damaging viral nucleic acids and membranes.

Methylene blue is a widely used photosensitizer, which has also been used to treat methemoglobinemia and in the sterilization of human plasma transfusions.

The study

The study, which appeared on pre-print medRxiv* server, aimed to determine the efficacy of methylene blue in PPE decontamination, particularly medical masks and respirators.

To determine if the method is effective, the researchers used ML and light (MBL) to inactivate coronavirus in respiratory and mask material. They tested three N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), two medical masks, and one cloth community mask.

The materials were inoculated with three types of coronaviruses, the SARS-CoV-2, murine hepatitis virus (MHV), or porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV). The researchers treated these materials with 10 µM MB followed by 50,000 lux of broad-spectrum light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes, or with 75°C DH for 60 minutes.

At the same time, the researchers tested respiratory and mask integrity through several standard methods. They compared the decontamination method with the FDA-approved vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.

The study findings showed that MBL successfully and robustly inactivated all three coronaviruses with at least a 4-log reduction. Applied to FFR and medical masks, the method completely inactivated SARS-CoV-2. MBL, a novel proposed decontamination method, did not cause any changes in the breathability, filtration, and fluid resistance properties of the materials tested.

The study's findings highlight a new way for healthcare workers to re-use masks, respirators, and PPEs safely. The method can also be used to supply active viral inactivation while wearing the PPEs. As a result, this may solve the shortage of PPEs, which are considered vital to protect healthcare workers from being infected.

We provide the first evidence that methylene blue and light can inactivate human coronavirus on FFRs and MMs commonly worn by healthcare personnel and essential workers without decreasing performance and fit,” the researchers concluded.

“Our findings provide a recipe for easily accessible, inexpensive, effective PPE re-use and afford an opportunity for utilization in high- and low-resource settings to address issues of global supply shortages and reduced time of decontamination relative to VHP+03,” they added.

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.


COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) - https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps ... 7b48e9ecf6

Journal reference:

Lendway, T., Chen, J., Harcourt, B., Lin, Y., Lamb, M., Chu, L., et al. (2020). Addressing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Decontamination: Methylene Blue and Light Inactivates SARS-CoV-2 on N95 Respirators and Masks with Maintenance of Integrity and Fit. medRxiv. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.12.11.20236919, https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101 ... 20236919v2
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Re: Face Mask Technologies

Post by trader32176 »

Researchers use aroma diffuser for assessing the fit of face masks


https://www.news-medical.net/news/20201 ... masks.aspx

Researchers have developed a way to use a simple home aroma diffuser to test whether N95 and other types of sealing masks, such as KN95 and FFP2 masks, are properly fitted, a result which could be used to help protect healthcare workers and the public from contracting or transmitting COVID-19.

The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, tested a variety of materials to construct a new inexpensive and reliable method for assessing the fit of masks. Commercial testing equipment has been in extremely short supply since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing many healthcare institutions to abandon regular fit-testing of their staff.

Their results, published in the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, found that widely-available alternatives, such as aroma diffusers and extra-large freezer bags, can be used to make a qualitative fit-testing setup which performs at a similar level to commercial solutions.

While commercial kits typically cost several hundred pounds, the Cambridge setup can be made for under £35. In addition to its potential benefits to the healthcare industry, this inexpensive setup can be used by anyone who wants to test the fit of their mask at home.

The researchers caution, however, that their setup will only test the fit of sealing masks with high filtration ability, such as N95, FFP3, KN95 or FFP2 masks. The method cannot be used to test the fit of surgical or fabric masks, as these do not typically offer the fit or filtration necessary to pass a qualitative fit-test.

Sealing masks offer the wearer a high level of protection, but only if they fit properly, with no gaps between the mask and the wearer's face. Previous studies have found that even if the mask material is highly efficient at filtering fine particles, the effectiveness of the mask is hampered by an imperfect seal.

" So far, there has not been an inexpensive, accessible, and reliable way of testing the fit of sealing masks. Shortages of the fit-testing equipment that healthcare facilities normally use have left some of them unable to test their workers. And those who do not work in healthcare have had no reliable way to ensure their masks fit."

- Eugenia O'Kelly, Cambridge's Department of Engineering

Most healthcare facilities use qualitative fit-testing methods on their staff, as these are faster and cheaper than quantitative methods. Qualitative fit-testing requires three key pieces of equipment: a testing solution, a diffuser to atomize the solution, and a testing hood.

To carry out a typical fit-test, a user places the hood over their head while wearing a mask, and the solution is aerosolized into the enclosure as a fine mist. The solution is usually sweet or bitter. The fit of the mask is assessed by how well the user can taste the solution while nodding their head or speaking. If the mask fits the wearer, they will not be able to taste the solution.

When COVID-19 struck, the increase in demand for fit-testing supplies, combined with breakdowns in manufacturing and supply chains, meant it became very difficult to get qualitative test equipment, with wait times extending weeks or even months.

"Solving the fit-testing supply crisis is critical to enable hospitals and businesses to properly protect their workers," said O'Kelly.

Meanwhile, those outside of healthcare facilities who use non-sealing face masks are left with no reliable way to determine the fit of their masks. "Many people are using KN95 or FFP2 masks," said O'Kelly. "While these masks can offer high levels of protection, they do not fit everyone. We also wanted to offer a way for the public, particularly those who are at high risk, to evaluate the fit of these masks for themselves."

Previous research has assessed the safety and efficacy of homemade testing solutions; however, no effective alternatives to the atomizing equipment or enclosures had yet been identified.

Now, the researchers have identified alternatives to these pieces of the testing apparatus which are around a quarter of the cost of commercial equipment and are readily available from many retailers, including Amazon.

To diffuse the solution, the researchers tested an aroma diffuser, humidifier, mist maker and spray bottle. For the enclosure, they tested a plastic bag, testing hood, a clear storage cube and no enclosure. Testers first underwent quantitative fit-testing to assess the fit on their faces before the qualitative methods. Quantitative testing measures the number of particles inside and outside the mask and is highly accurate. However, it is also time-consuming and expensive, which is why qualitative testing is more frequently used in healthcare settings.

Using an N95 mask from 3M and a KN95 mask from a Chinese manufacturer, the testers then assessed the alternative devices and enclosures. A solution of sodium saccharin - an artificial sweetener - was aerosolized for 60 seconds at a time, and testers were asked whether they could taste the sweetener or not. The test was then repeated with the tester causing an intentional gap in the fit by placing the tip of a finger between the mask and their face.

They found that the combination of an aroma diffuser and a small container, such as a large plastic bag, provided the most accurate and most sensitive setup, with results comparable to commercial qualitative fit-testing solutions.

"Our homemade replacement requires further testing for safety and efficacy: in particular, the use of a plastic bag to concentrate the vapor remains a safety concern," said O'Kelly. "However, we were happy to find an inexpensive setup to assess the fit of masks when used in combination with homemade fit-testing solution. Given the importance of masks in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne viruses, it's essential that they fit properly, especially in healthcare settings."


University of Cambridge

Journal reference:

Kelly, E.O., et al. (2020) Performing Qualitative Mask Fit Testing Without a Commercial Kit: Fit Testing Which Can Be Performed at Home and at Work. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. doi.org10.1017/dmp.2020.352.
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Re: Face Mask Technologies

Post by trader32176 »

Researchers use nanotechnology to develop new coronavirus mask model


https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... model.aspx

Over 84.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), including 1.85 million deaths. This staggering toll comes even amid the crucial measures taken by public health authorities worldwide, such as lockdowns, travel bans, mass gathering restrictions, home quarantines, social distancing measures, personal protective actions, and other non-pharmaceutical interventions.

The spread of the virus in aerosol droplets is most infectious through long-range transmission; the half-life of SARS-CoV-2 in aerosols is 1.1 hours. One of the major mitigation strategies in the spread of the novel coronavirus, then, has been the use of face masks. For the pandemic, many types of masks have hit the market with varying levels of effectiveness.

A mask's pore size is critical in its effectiveness in preventing infection – generally, there are a couple of microns in surgical masks and tens to hundreds of microns in cloth masks. The electrospun air filters, due to their ultrafine nanofibers (~300 nm), have a very small pore size comparatively. Electrospun nanofibrous membranes are also excellent for removing aerosols (polystyrene beads, NaCl, and bacteria).

A US-based research team from The George Washington University and the University of California Riverside designed and fabricated electrospun nanofibrous air filters that hold promise for applications in personal protective equipment and indoor environments. The team compared the filtration efficiency of coronavirus and NaCl aerosols to a broad spectrum of electrospun air filters and face masks.

They developed advanced electrospun air filters for capturing coronavirus aerosols – showing an excellent performance of up to 99.9%. They show that these filters outperform many commercially available face masks.

Thus, in this study, they also show for the first time that NaCl is an eligible surrogate for coronavirus during aerosol filtration tests.

Electrospinning is a new technology to synthesize non-woven nanofibrous membranes that are ideal for air filtration. Here, a polymer solution is ejected into a strong electric field to form fine nanofibers having reduced pore size. This enables the effective capture of small airborne particles.

The fiber diameter of the electrospun filters used in this study ranges between 0.2-1.3 microns. The electrospun filters had a mean pore size ≤ 2.7 microns, whereas all the commercial masks had a mean pore size ≥ 17.5 microns.

Because the electrospinning operates under a strong electric field (i.e., 1-5 kV cm-1), the filters retain surface and volume charges that significantly promotes aerosol capture through electrostatic attraction.

For the filtration tests, NaCl aerosols are widely used. In this study, the team compared the filtration efficiency obtained from the coronavirus aerosols and the NaCl aerosols.

The team selected Murine hepatitis virus A59 (MHVA59), a coronavirus in the same family as SARS-CoV-2, for aerosol generation and filtration. They demonstrated that the NaCl aerosols are an eligible surrogate for the coronavirus aerosols in the filtration tests when air filters and face masks with diverse pore sizes, morphologies, and efficiencies were used.

The authors claim that this is the first study of this kind: evaluating the filtration efficiency of the air filters/face masks by using aerosols of a coronavirus rather than surrogates.

Our work paves a new avenue for advancing air filtration by developing electrospun nanofibrous air filters for controlling SARS-CoV-2 airborne transmission."

This study demonstrates that electrospun air filters formed by nanofibres hold promise for providing efficient protection against airborne coronavirus particles. Developing electrospun air filters for capturing viral aerosols is still in its nascent stage; this indicative study shows a significant move forward.

This study has validated the eligibility of NaCl as a surrogate of coronavirus in aerosol filtration tests by comparing the filtration efficiency for a broad spectrum of air filters and face masks with different pore sizes and ranges of efficiency.

Most air filters used in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings – except high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters – used in healthcare facilities only capture larger particles like dust, mold spores, or bacteria but not airborne viruses. The need of the hour – an innovative and efficient air filter for the HVAC system that can prevent the long-range transmission and accumulation of coronavirus aerosols – is addressed in this study.

" Nanotechnology holds promise for developing effective, scalable, and affordable air filters for both mask/respirator and HVAC system applications."

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Journal reference:

Haihuan Wang, Hongchen Shen, Zhe Zhou, Mengyang Zhang, Minghao Han, David P. Durkin, Danmeng Shuai, Yun Shen. (2021) Development of Electrospun Nanofibrous Filters for Controlling Coronavirus Aerosols. medRxiv. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.12.30.20249046, https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101 ... 20249046v1
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Re: Face Mask Technologies

Post by trader32176 »

Magary: I tested the dumbest PPE of all time - the Rich Guy COVID Helmet
The Microclimate Air is the pandemic accessory you do not need


https://www.sfgate.com/culture/editorsp ... 867960.php

Even before the pandemic infected every aspect of your existence, America was already a land of nouveau war profiteering. Can’t find a job? Now you can ferry around s—tfaced tourists in your own car and pay Uber a cut! Wanna burn a cross? Post YOUR Three Percenters tattoo on Facebook and they’ll provide you with ads from only the finest cross burning supply companies! Into drugs? Well, why buy SUPER SUS crack on a street corner when Purdue Pharma offers safe, reliable opioids right at your neighborhood drug store?

So it was inevitable that a great many Americans would view the onset of coronavirus not as a mass tragedy unfolding in real time, but as a business opportunity. To that end, I give you THE MICROCLIMATE AIR.

Because why wear a mask that fits in your pocket when you can buy something 50 times more cumbersome? The good(?) folks at Microclimate introduced this douche-ified face shield in August, when the dreaded second spike — which we are now smack dab in the middle of — was on the horizon. So I did what any enterprising journalist would have done at the time: I bought one. Actually, I contacted Microclimate’s PR department to ask for a free one first, and then I heard nothing, and THEN I bought one and expensed it to my editor.

Sticker price at the time was $199. As of this writing, the helmet now costs $299, because, according to an email I got from Microclimate, “the addition of HEPA 11 air filters in the current design has increased the cost of producing.” Well I DO love HEPA 11 filters; they’re my second favorite HEPA after hepatitis. But I love a good bargain even more.

It took two months for my helmet to arrive. During that span, not one but two COVID vaccines were successfully tested and approved by the FDA, rendering the helmet worthless in the long term. Luckily for you, the consumer, the vaccine rollout has been slower than Jon Gruden, and the second spike has risen all the way to the f—king moon. So really, what BETTER time than now to piss away $300 to look like a freak at the supermarket?

As I waited for the helmet, I got regular emails from Microclimate, providing updates on when I could expect my helmet to arrive and welcoming me to “the community” (next time I see a fellow Microclimater at the bus stop, I’m giving him a way-cool elbow bump). I was also treated to video tutorials from Microclimate CEO Michael Hall, who looks exactly like what a Microclimate CEO ought to look like. Here’s Hall explaining how to talk to your fellow earthlings while your head resides inside its own, COVID-free ecosystem.

“This makes conversation a bit challenging.” It’s almost like this guy has never gotten his head stuck inside a bucket before. Anyway, my helmet finally arrived in the mail at the end of the year. My kids gathered round the box, because the virus has rendered them eternal devotees of shipment porn.

“LEMME WEAR IT!” my 8-year-old cried.

“You can’t touch this. Dad needs it for work. After I’m done writing my post, you can treat it like absolute garbage.”

“It looks so weird!”

Does it ever. The Air comes in the kind of nylon pouch normally reserved for Coleman sleeping bags. The mask is made of hard, clear plastic and is encased in a black ring that houses the fan apparatus, along with a neoprene hood and “innovative neck seal.” EXCITING! Now, you might think it’s unwise to deliberately tighten a collar so that oxygen can’t reach your mouth or nose. However, the battery on the Air helmet lasts a whole four hours. Why, that’s almost as long of a charge as you get with a Zune! So if you want to stage the world’s least suspenseful countdown for fresh oxygen, this helmet has everything you need to pull it off.

I put the helmet on wrong. The Air has padding at the top to cushion your forehead, but I mistook that as a chin pad and wore the helmet upside down. Took me a good 10 minutes to realize this bit of user error. So I took it off (Microclimate’s site promises that the mask “may be taken off in seconds,” which is true), turned it right-side up, and put it back on. It still didn’t fit. I have a very large head. You could split concrete with it, which I have inadvertently attempted to do in the past. The front of the helmet kept slipping off of my forehead anyway, gifting me a view of the interior padding and little else. Every time I set the mask right, it slipped back down again. Also, the interior fan was loud and annoying.

My kids didn’t have such complaints. I relented and let them mess around with the Air, and they promptly went and played spaceman with it until they got bored 30 seconds later: putting on the helmet, blowing fog on the inside, knocking on the mask like it was a door, etc. Very fun s—t. I re-commandeered the Air so I could take it out into the real world a few weeks later. I had errands to do and wanted to look my stupidest.

Since September, Microclimate has positioned the Air helmet as an ideal accessory for air travel. Its website even has a list of masking policies for every major airline. I did not fly with this helmet on. I haven’t flown anywhere in nearly a year, because everyone is dying right now and I’m not stupid. I also didn’t drive my car with the helmet on, because it restricts your peripheral vision to a noticeable degree. Instead, I drove barefaced into the middle of my town, donned the helmet, and grabbed some vaping supplies. The tech bro errand of choice.

No one at the vape shop cared that I was dressed like I was in an old Moby video. I was conducting this experiment the day after the Capitol riot. Nothing was weird to anyone anymore, especially not the sight of some white a—hole walking around with the Google Glass of virus protection on his head. I bought some cartridge adapter rings and couldn’t hear the clerk through my helmet (the fact that I wear hearing aids only complicated matters). After I left the shop, the mask slipped down with every step I took down the sidewalk. The weight of the helmet itself pulled my head forward, probably enough to herniate a disc in my neck after 30 days of continued use. The bottom of the helmet kept scratching my chin. I was not comfortable.

I wasn’t comfortable socially, either. As jaded as passersby were, I was still painfully aware that I looked like a complete f—king dork. Also, I’d been wearing a regular mask for so long that I was not used to having my face fully exposed to everyone on the street. I already know that life in The After will be an odd transition, like walking out of prison. Making my face visible to everyone last week gave me a preview of that. I felt both exposed and reflexively unprotected. Something should be covering my face.

Then I walked into a bookstore and felt better about having the helmet on. Indoor spaces terrify me right now, so I was relieved to have my entire head encased inside a yuppiesphere as I browsed fine literature, and then headed over to the grocery store to pick up some chocolate bars and C batteries.

I was even more relieved to have the helmet when the urge to take a dump suddenly hit me.

Did I sit down on a grocery store toilet while wearing the business class motorcycle helmet? I did. Did this bathroom allow for more than one occupant at a time? Sadly, at least for your reading enjoyment, no. As for me, I shat in both peace and comfort. I felt safer indoors with the helmet on than a mask, although this safety would have been compromised the second I needed a sip of water. Microclimate’s site says that “the fabric portion may be lifted for eating and drinking,” which sounds like a fantastic benefit until you ponder why you’re wearing the f—king thing to begin with. I can see a place for this helmet among people who have to stay inside for long stretches, particularly anyone working in retail or at a restaurant. I can see employers GIVING these to their essential workers to keep them extra safe as they toil away. But that’s not who or what this thing was designed for. It’s sold as bonus comfort for the already comfortable, and the price of that will never go down.

At no point in my adventures with the Air did I forget that I was wearing it. Sunglasses will fit inside the Air, as will AirPods. You can accessorize your literal headspace to your heart’s content. But you’re still wearing a weird-ass helmet, and you still gotta carry it around, and take it off when you want to do vital things, and listen to its fan whirring until the battery shorts out. Befitting the 21st century, the Air helmet is a triumph in the field of personal isolation. But living inside one is a much heavier burden than engaging with the outside world could ever be.
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Re: Face Mask Technologies

Post by trader32176 »

Time to double or upgrade masks as coronavirus variants emerge, experts say


https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2 ... -guidance/

Wear your mask is becoming wear your masks.

The discovery of highly transmissible coronavirus variants in the United States has public health experts urging Americans to upgrade the simple cloth masks that have become a staple shield during the pandemic.

The change can be as simple as slapping a second mask over the one you already wear, or better yet, donning a fabric mask on top of a surgical mask. Some experts say it is time to buy the highest-quality KN95 or N95 masks that officials hoping to reserve supplies for health-care workers have long discouraged Americans from purchasing.

As with other parts of the pandemic response, the United States lags behind other parts of the world when it comes to masks. Several Asian countries, including Singapore and South Korea, have mass-produced high-quality masks to send directly to residents. In recent weeks, European countries have begun mandating medical-grade masks in public settings as the virus strain first identified in the United Kingdom threatens to ravage communities. British scientists estimate it could be as much as 70 percent more transmissible.

“The existence of more-transmissible viruses emphasizes the importance of us upping our game and doing not more of the same but better of the same,” said Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frieden has called for people to wear higher-quality masks. “Yes, that is confusing to people, but the key is to share what we know when we know it and be frank about what we don’t know.”

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, touted double-masking during a Monday appearance on the “Today” show, saying two layers “just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective.”

But on a Wednesday town hall appearance on CNN, Fauci appeared to reverse course and instead stressed following CDC guidance, which does not call for wearing two masks or N95s. New CDC Director Director Rochelle Walensky, appearing alongside Fauci, also warned that N95 masks are uncomfortable to wear and may dissuade consistent use if expanded to the general public.

The CDC encourages Americans to choose well-fitting masks with “two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric” and to avoid surgical masks and other face coverings meant for health-care workers.

President Biden has embraced masks as a core strategy for ending the pandemic, mandating face coverings on planes, in airports and in all federal buildings. But he has not called for a medical-grade-mask mandate or mass production of high-quality masks.

The CDC and White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Some public health experts said the federal government should have prioritized certifying or manufacturing better masks earlier so Americans do not have to fend for themselves to avoid counterfeits or upgrade their own.

The Trump administration in March coordinated with underwear makers to send five masks to every household, officials told The Washington Post, but the plans fell apart because of logistical concerns and other issues, including complaints that the masks looked like underwear or jockstraps.

Abraar Karan, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School has, since last spring, called on government and industrial leaders to mass-produce comfortable, effective masks. He said the country could have avoided its current situation, with Americans learning how to better protect themselves largely alone.

“This seems just like the rest of our covid tragedy: We just don’t have answers, we just put out fires constantly, and we are asking people to do things on their own,” Karan said. “You’ve always needed better masks. We needed better masks from the start.”

Linsey Marr, a Virginia Tech engineering professor who has researched mask effectiveness, said the public has better tools to reduce viral loads getting into the air and into bodies.

Without a medical-grade face covering, Marr said, people can get the best, simplest protection by wearing a cloth mask tightly on top of a surgical mask. They can also make a three-layer mask by cutting a high-efficiency filter, such as a vacuum bag, to place between two tightly-woven fabric masks.

The difference is like getting two recommended doses of coronavirus vaccines instead of one — the additional mask offers more complete protection against the virus.

“Those standard cloth masks might be around 50 percent effective in terms of protecting yourself,” Marr said. “Maybe that was good enough before when combined with distancing and trying to avoid being in crowded indoor spaces.”

Masks are among the simplest tools in the fight against the coronavirus but also among the most politically fraught. Some have turned masks into a symbol of government overreach.

Federal officials, including Fauci, were criticized when they urged people to cover their face after initially advising against masks in the early weeks of the pandemic. Many experts said the changing guidance made sense as the shortage of protective equipment for health-care workers eased and scientists better understood the spread of the virus — including that it is spread by asymptomatic people. But the initial confusion has been used to cast doubt on the proven efficacy of masking and the broader government response to the pandemic.

“So in other words Fauci and everybody else really has no idea what to do or what is safe,” former Major League Baseball player Jordan Schafer tweeted in response to a news article about the scientist recommending two masks. “Fauci has told us not to wear a mask, to wear one mask, and now to wear two masks. Can we just get transparency please and accurate info.”

Cady Fusté of Seattle started wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask this month. She made the shift at the advice of her mother’s doctor — a double lung transplant has put her mother at a higher risk.

“Science evolves. It makes total sense to me,” said Fusté, 35, who works in photo production. “If you think about it, if you can still smell someone’s perfume, it’s probably not that effective to something that’s airborne. A thin layer of cotton is probably not as ideal as a surgical mask.”

Behavioral psychologists say public health authorities must be mindful of a backlash as they start to shift mask guidance. When people living through a crisis are confused, they often stick to their habits.

“When you look at leaders and you see mixed messages like the ones you’ve seen in the past, you tend to latch onto the ones that make you feel comfortable,” said David Abrams, a professor of social and behavioral health at New York University and a former National Institutes of Health official.

Abrams said it is essential to acknowledge that the guidance is changing and to be patient if people do not change their behavior immediately.

“Let’s face it: This is changing very quickly and science is making progress and sometimes we even make mistakes and correct them,” Abrams said. “There’s nothing wrong with that or learning how to do something better. The double-masking is a good example of that.”

Linda Aldoory, a public health communications researcher at the University of Maryland, said there may be no swaying people who have already lost faith in the government to change their mask behavior, which is why other messengers should be enlisted.

“If we could get every famous influencer and celebrity to wear new masks and wear double masks … that might actually be a great way to start a new social norm to getting the kind of masks they want worn,” Aldoory said.

Danny Ryan, a 27-year-old who works in communications in D.C., said he was swayed to switch to two cloth masks in part after he saw Biden and Vice President Harris doubling up in recent weeks. He also reconsidered the protection of a single mask after seeing his breath while waiting outside for a coronavirus test, although experts say that is not a sign of a malfunctioning mask.

“It just stuck in my head — they are wearing two masks, protecting them underneath and maybe more above,” said Ryan, who now keeps extra masks by his door. “To be perfectly honest, I just feel safer doing it with updates in the news about the new variants.”
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Re: Face Mask Technologies

Post by trader32176 »

We've tested dozens of cloth face masks over the last 11 months — these 22 stand out from the rest



(For Informational Purposes Only -This is not an endorsement for any of these masks)

The CDC recommends wearing a cloth face mask in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On the Insider Reviews team, we've tried several different face masks over the past year.
I asked my colleagues to share their favorites, below.

Wearing a face mask is vital to slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, along with other CDC guidelines such as maintaining 6 feet of social distance and washing your hands frequently.

Wearing face masks in public is firstly about social responsibility. Cloth face coverings mostly help protect other people from your germs, which is especially important because you could be asymptomatic or presymptomatic and not know that you're carrying the virus. The exceptions to the masks-in-public rule are kids under the age of two and anyone who has trouble breathing or is otherwise unable to remove their mask without assistance.

"If everyone wears a mask when in public, the ones who have illness in them, whether symptomatic or not, will not contaminate the environment," Chris Ziebell, an emergency medical director for US Acute Care Solutions, previously told Insider.

Since healthcare workers and COVID-19 patients are most in need of medical-grade surgical masks and N95 masks, the CDC has encouraged the general public to wear cloth face masks instead.

"We're getting to the point that we want everybody to wear masks when going outside, especially if they're going to be in a setting that cannot be more than 6 feet apart from others," Roberto Posada, MD, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Mount Sinai previously said to Insider. "Ideally, [they should wear] a new mask each day or each time they have to go out," Posada explained.

If you do prefer to wear surgical masks, N95 masks, and KN95 masks it's still a great idea to wear a cloth face mask as an additional layer. Not only will it keep your single-use mask from getting contaminated and help it to last longer, but it can also improve the effectiveness. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, doubling up on face masks is a good idea and "makes common sense."

The CDC recommends that face masks have the following features:

A snug fit that sits comfortably against the face and doesn't gap on the sides
Two or more layers of fabric
Allow for breathing without restriction
The ability to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Throughout the pandemic, the Insider Reviews team has dug into it all — including whether rental cars and Airbnbs are safe as well as where to buy groceries, toilet paper, effective hand sanitizer, EPA-registered cleaning supplies, and face masks. So I asked my colleagues which face masks they've worn and recommend the most because there's nothing like first-person feedback to help you decide which one is best for you.

Below, you'll find 22 of our favorite tried-and-true masks that are comfortable, breathable, reliable, and relatively affordable. Check our review on N95 Mask Co. if you're looking for N95 and KN95 masks that we've tested.
The best fabric face masks we've personally tested:

Updated on 1/29/2021 by Amir Ismael: Added note about Dr. Fauci's double mask recommendation.

Graf Lantz Zenbu Face Mask

A couple of us on the team decided to test these Graf Lantz masks after we kept seeing ads for them on social media. We spent most of the pandemic convinced that Vida's masks were the absolute best you could buy, but these ones are even better. The nose bridge is made from a thick, flexible strip rather than a wire, so you get a better fit and no glasses fog or rogue wires poking through the fabric. The elastic ear bands are also adjustable, and the mask is made from multiple layers of material to adhere to CDC guidance. The construction is such that you have more breathing room, and the mask doesn't feel suffocating in the least. It also has room for filters.

They come in two sizes, regular and petite, and a cotton or linen finish. My partner and I got a couple of each size and material, and we recommend that most people get the petite size. The regular size is really more for people with large heads or faces (it's probably especially great for people with beards). — Sally Kaplan, senior editor

Protective Mask from Vida

I've really loved these Vida Protective Masks. I bought them after including them in an article about face masks made by retailers because they seemed to be the best marriage of affordability, quantity, and efficacy thanks to multiple layers of fabric, adjustable ear straps, and features such as a high silhouette and a wire bridge along the nose. They also have pockets for filters — which are included with your purchase.

I ordered in the heyday of mask-buying in April, and I received them a month later (unprompted, the company offered me the option of a shipping refund or to donate a mask to a charity as an apology). During the wait, I bought a few from Etsy, but the Vida ones are definitely superior; they cover more surface area, sit more securely on my face, and create a better seal all over. In the months since, I've ordered more for my family and received them within a week. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter

I've tried a few different cloth face masks, and I agree with Mara's comments above: Vida's masks are comfortable, fit my face more securely than others, and come in a nice range of simple colors and good fabrics. —Malarie Gokey, deputy editor

I suppose I'm not surprised to see that quite a few of my coworkers are also fans of this mask — we are, after all, a group of product reviewers obsessed with finding the best versions of everything. My partner and I are both big fans of these Vida masks for their lightweight fabric, filter options, and the adjustability features mentioned above. — Sally Kaplan, senior editor

Buck Mason M1 All-Day Anti-Microbial Face Mask

Whether we like it or not, masks have become a part of our style. I hated the look of white or patterned masks when I wore all black, so I gave Buck Mason's M1 mask a try.

It has tie-back adjustable ear straps, which makes it a comfortable fit for just about any head and face type. The tie-back straps are great for keeping your mask in place, so you don't have to keep adjusting it. If you have a habit of constantly taking your mask off, this might be a good way to keep one on and stay safe. Remember, it's important to touch your mask as little as possible.

As someone who wears glasses all the time, my only gripe with this was the lack of an adjustable nose bridge. I experienced some fogging, but the new M2 version, which does have an adjustable nose bridge, should solve that. I plan on testing the updated version soon. — Amir Ismael, reporter

SKIMS Seamless Face Mask

Coming as a bit of a surprise to me, the SKIMS Seamless Face Mask in "Cocoa" has been my go-to face covering. I gravitated toward the line for its neutral color range and ribbed design, so I could pair it easily with outfits and ditch disposable masks.

True to its description, the soft, stretchy fabric ensures a comfortable fit that can be made smaller with a quick run in the dryer. It's comfortable for long wear and doesn't trigger my sensitive skin while wearing it in swampy Florida humidity. It fits securely around the sides of my face but feels breathable.

The downside is that some face masks offer a space for a filter, which gives that added layer of protection. Although the mask has a nylon-spandex fabric, one size fits all is always a questionable sell. Masks with adjustable ear loops might serve different face shapes better. — Jacqueline Saguin, style & beauty reviews fellow

Halo Nanofilter Mask

I've worn quite a few masks throughout the pandemic, and the Halo Nanofilter mask is by far the most sturdy one I own. As someone who usually goes for masks with more personality, I was surprised by how much I like wearing this one. With the bendable latex nose pad holding the mask in place on my nose, the thin layer of cotton at the bottom preventing the mask from riding up, and the adjustable ear clips, the mask is comfortable and never needs adjusting.

Although I don't wear glasses, when I tried the mask on with a pair, I found that the glasses rarely fogged up. Inside the mask, there is space for the Nanofilter, that is said to work 200 hours but needs to be removed and placed back in when washed. The filter is held in place by a little bar that also gives the mask some shape.

Despite the multiple layers, the mask still feels light and breathable. Although it isn't the cheapest mask on this list, it is worth every penny and comes in four colors and two patterns. — Lily Oberstein, Story Production Fellow

Moshi OmniGuard Face Mask

Moshi's mask may well be my new favorite of all the ones I've tested, even though it is more expensive. It is comfortable and well designed. With other face masks, I've felt that the shape and construction weren't always made to fit my face well and provide full coverage. Moshi's mask is roomy and comfortable without being too loose, thanks to its adjustable design. It has seams that clearly define and hug my chin.

The adjustable nose wire also seals quite well and the ear loops are also adjustable and they do not hurt my ears like some rougher ones do. The mask has three layers of fabric with an anti-bacterial coating and comes with three filters, which Moshi says can be used for up to six weeks each unless you live in an area with high pollution. The filters are well made and easy to insert as well, and Moshi says they are designed to filter particles as small as 75 nanometers. It comes in black and gray, so color options are limited. —Malarie Gokey, deputy editor

Airism Face Mask from Uniqlo

The Uniqlo Airism Face Mask, which first gained popularity in Japan, is breathable and comfortable — as well as being relatively inexpensive.

The first layer is made from Uniqlo's AIRism material, which is designed to be breathable and moisture-wicking. The second layer is a washable built-in filter, which eliminates the need to buy filters separately and constantly replace them (you can just throw this one in the wash after wearing and you'll be good to go), and the final layer is a UV-blocking AIRism mesh material.

But, it's worth mentioning that they don't have an adjustable nose bridge or adjustable ear loops. I also did experience a minimal amount of fogging on my glasses, but it was nowhere near what I've experienced with other masks. — Amir Ismael, reporter

Classic Fitted Mask from Herschel

Herschel's face masks have a three-layer design, an adjustable wire nose bridge, and adjustable ear loops. You can also pop a filter into the mask for an extra layer if you so choose. The fabric is a mix of polyester and cotton, so it's comfortable to wear on your face even in warmer weather. The masks come in several different colors and designs, including solid colors, two colors, camo, and more. This mask was on the smaller side, so it fit my face much better than some of the other ones I've tried. I also liked the filter slot a lot. It's located on the bottom of the mask, so it's easier to get the filter in and out every time I wash the mask. —Malarie Gokey, deputy editor

Butter Blend Adjustable Mask from Stance

If you followed the NBA during its historic "bubble" finals season, then you'll recognize these masks as those worn by players and coaches at post-game press conferences (and accordingly, Stance has several options for specific teams like the Lakers or Heat). They're made from Stance's signature ButterBlend, which is a stretchy, ultra-soft, ultra-smooth fabric that feels comfortable across your face and clings to your skin well. They're also reversible. While it's my most comfortable mask, it's not as breathable as a cotton mask, so I wouldn't recommend this to do strenuous activities in. It's also a bit large (and I have a large head and face so it works), but you can adjust the fit with the included cinching beads. — Connie Chen, senior reporter

Note: these masks do not have filters.

Bisous Masks from Clare V.

Most of my favorite handbags are from LA-based brand Clare V., and its masks don't disappoint either. Each $35 four-pack is made from remnant and deadstock fabric (in fun, bright prints) and lined in the signature chambray material that you'll find lining its bags. They're the cutest masks that I own, but I also appreciate the functionality of an option that ties behind the head; they're adjustable, take some pressure off my ears, and they're easier to pull up or down quickly when I'm eating outside or out of breath from my walk-up apartment's stairs.

The cons are that these masks don't come with filters or with a metal wire along the nose for a next-to-skin seal, so some of your breath will likely escape from the top unless you add one yourself. For this reason, I prefer these masks when I'm spending my time outdoors. And I'd highly recommend washing them by hand — I accidentally threw some in at a laundromat and received shrunken versions back. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter

Three-Pack of Face Masks from Madewell

Along with Vida, Madewell's masks have quickly become my go-to choice for everyday wear. It covers the maximum surface area with minimal gaps; The mask goes right up to my ears, curves under my chin, and sits high and close on my nose. However, these masks don't come with metal wire in the nose bridge, so Vida's options are still technically a closer fit. The ear loops are secure but not too tight, and each one has a filter included. Plus, the navy gingham is cute and complements most of my closet. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter

Whale Sharks Recycled Plastic Cloth Face Mask from Padi Gear

My husband and I are licensed scuba divers so we receive email newsletters from PADI and pre-ordered their face masks as soon as the announcement came out. It took almost a month to arrive, though the shipping times might be shorter now that the pre-order period is over.

It comes as a single mask and $20 is expensive as far as face masks are concerned, but they're washable and each one comes with five reusable carbon filters so you'd be able to use it for a long time. It doesn't have a wire in the bridge of the nose for a custom fit but the sturdy elastic straps around the ears combined with the soft, stretchy fabric should make for a tight-enough fit around most adult faces.

The mask has two layers so you can place a carbon filter inside, and the exterior layer is made with recycled ocean plastic and has fun prints of marine life — ours have prints of whale sharks and Great Whites. Plus, it's lightweight enough for wearing in hot weather. — Jada Wong, senior editor

The 100% Human Face Mask in 100% Cotton from Everlane

These are great masks for anyone with a small head like me. They don't have any fancy features — no filters, wired nose bridge, or adjustable straps for the ears. But their simplicity makes them great for the moments when we have to go outside to water our plants and may run into a neighbor or two on the elevator. These aren't the ones we wear when we go out and about for a long walk in the park because they're a bit heavier and the ears start to pull after a while, but they're perfectly fine for a quick errand outside. Plus, 10% of sales will be donated to the ACLU when you buy a set, so that's a solid perk. The striped pack I bought is now sold out, but they're available in solid colors. — Sally Kaplan, senior editor

Cotton Face Mask from Soul Monogram

I ordered two of these spandex and cotton masks from Etsy early on in the pandemic and have been wearing them ever since! They came quickly and after three months of wear, I've been impressed by how well they've retained their shape and size. They are so soft and breathable — like your favorite cotton T-shirt. My husband did find them a bit too warm, but I've worn them for many summer hikes and errand runs in sweaty New York City and feel comfortable. They wash easily, too. — Emily Cohn, deputy editor in chief

Printed Face Masks from Tory Burch

I've tried several face masks over the past six months from silk options to the ubiquitous blue medical masks. I had a hard time finding one that fit my smaller face well, didn't make my glasses constantly fog up, was comfortable for everyday use, and didn't turn into a soggy pool of sweat when I was exercising outdoors. But I have finally found my holy grail in the Tory Burch Printed Face Masks.

Not only do I consistently get compliments on the super cute prints, but they have adjustable ear loops and a contoured wire nose so they fit my face snugly. The two-layer fabric is super soft and moisture-wicking to boot. They have a pocket for filters, although they do not come with filters. Being Tory Burch, I expected these to be pricey. But at five masks for $35, they're actually a bargain. As an added bonus, I appreciated that Tory Burch isn't making a profit off of these and is instead selling them at cost plus a $10 donation that gets split between their foundation and the International Medical Corps. — Hannah Freedman, Associate Travel Editor

Everyday Non-Medical Masks from Athleta

Despite three layers of coverage, these Athleta masks are surprisingly breathable. I first started wearing them when a friend offered me one of her extra masks to wear while exercising.

The ear loops are adjustable and the wire along the nose bridge does give you a closer and more secure fit, though it's worth mentioning that the wire — while malleable — is not so thin that it will pinch to exactly the shape of your nose bridge (which is what I found in my Vida mask) and "remember" the shape. It's still great.

There's also a lot of material; the Athleta Everyday Masks can be unfurled to sit high on the face, and the pleated style fits nice and secure underneath my chin as well. And while the sides don't extend to my ears, the seam still lays flat against my cheek — so it doesn't create a gaping hole on each side of my mask.

Lastly, the material is seriously soft. Unlike many other pairs I've tried, I don't feel a rush to rip this off every time I get home. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter

Bee Kind Cotton Face Mask from Bird & Vine

The Bee Kind mask has a built-in pocket so that you can put a filter inside, and it's so much more comfortable than the other masks I've been wearing.

I have a relatively small face so most masks leave gaps or holes — making them ineffective for me. I typically have to buy kids' masks, but this one actually fits.

It's worth the $22 due to its comfort, ability to fit smaller faces, the option for filters, and the fact that it's washable. Another bonus is it is actually cute and the writing on it usually makes people smile. — Ariel Tilayoff, story production fellow

The 100% Human Face Mask from Everlane

I recently ordered a 5-pack of Everlane's new tailored face masks, which are different from the other cotton style they make, which I've also written about in this list. These ones are made from a thinner cotton material with no stretch, and the ear loops are just simple elastic bands. Like the others, these don't have an adjustable nose bridge, but they do fit over the nose better than the basic style Everlane offers. They're breathable, easy to wear with glasses, and they come in gender-neutral colors and designs (they all feature different striped fabric in neutrals like blue and yellow).

The downside is that if you have a very small face, they'll likely be a bit big on you, and the only way to adjust them is to tie a knot in the ear loops. I found that they shrunk up a little once I washed and dried them, so they fit me perfectly now, but out of the package, I thought they'd be a little big on my average-sized face. — Sally Kaplan, senior editor

Face Masks from Vistaprint

Vistaprint's face masks are a close second to Vida's in my book. If you want a face mask with a fun print, Vistaprint has a lot of great options to choose from, including solid colors, geometric patterns, florals, and more. The company makes masks for both kids and adults, and they have adjustable nose wires that create a tight, yet comfortable, seal on my face.

Unlike many other masks I looked into while searching for cloth face masks, these ones have a special design that fits securely over my chin to create an even better seal. There's space for a filter insert, too, though you do have to pay extra for them. The stretchy ear loops are easy to adjust for a more secure fit. Although a bit pricey, the masks are of higher quality than some others I've tried. Additionally, Vistaprint has pledged to donate 10% of sales to help small businesses whose operations have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. —Malarie Gokey, deputy editor

Face Masks from Casetify

Casetify's masks are the softest ones I've worn. The cotton fabric feels like a super soft, frequently washed T-shirt. Unfortunately, the mask was a bit big and loose on my smaller face, but it fit my boyfriend's face much better. It doesn't have a nose wire and the ear loops don't have a built-in adjuster for tightening, but you can tie a knot at the end to make them fit better. There is a filter pocket and each mask comes with two free filters. Perhaps best of all, for every mask sold, Casetify is donating an FDA-approved surgical mask to Direct Relief, a non-profit organization that is distributing masks to medical professionals around the globe. —Malarie Gokey, deputy editor

CoolNet UV+ Multifunctional Headwear from Buff

Alright, so this isn't an N95, or even a medical mask — it's really designed for fly fishing on tropical sun-scorched sand flats — but have you taken a look at most people wearing masks out and about? They are often poorly fitting at best and dangling beneath noses if not down around necks or hung from ears like ornaments.

I've taken to the sun buff, though. I don't have a particular brand, though I do own a couple from "Buff," and they seem to do the trick. The biggest benefits are a good, tight seal around the nose (they're highly elastic and form-fitting), and a lot less fogging up of lenses.

While it's probably true that they don't offer quite the same protection, I feel confident wearing these outside while keeping my distance from others. They're also infinitely more comfortable, and, yes, UPF-treated, so rather than roast your hermetically sealed gob in your own hot breath while panting your way around in the summer doldrums, you're keeping the sun's harmful rays at bay. — Owen Burke, senior reporter

Printed Non-Medical Face Mask from Lilly Pulitzer

When a friend's mom gifted me one of these face masks, I was just excited to wear the colorful print — I had no idea it was such a hot item!

I like that it has two layers of lightweight fabric and that the elastic loops don't bother my ears. The one drawback is that there isn't a wire across the nose to keep the mask from riding up, which does tend to happen. The loops have also loosened up after a few months, but I tied a knot at the ends for an easy fix.

As far as face masks go, this is the cutest option I've seen and I always get compliments when I go out. Lilly Pulitzer also says it has donated more than 67,000 masks to healthcare workers so far, which is a nice bonus. —Ashley Phillips, style and beauty editor

Editor's note: This item is currently out of stock.
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Re: Face Mask Technologies

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CDC is Studying Whether Two Masks Are Better Than One for Preventing Coronavirus Spread

Leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said he often wears two masks.


https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news ... rus-spread

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a press briefing on Wednesday that the agency is "actively looking at this question" and that "more data will be forthcoming."

While there is no formal recommendation yet from the agency, leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said it could be the "common sense approach," adding that it is a question he gets asked "all the time."

"There's nothing wrong with people wearing two masks," Fauci said. "I often myself wear two masks."

He added that the agency will make a recommendation "when the science comes along."

New coronavirus cases have dropped to levels seen before the Thanksgiving holiday, Walensky said. Deaths from the virus are increasing slightly, but Walensky said she expects fatalities to soon be on the decline because of a recent drop in new hospitalizations.

New coronavirus variants, however, could disrupt progress.

"The continued proliferation of variants – variants that likely have increased transmissibility, that spread more easily – threatens to reverse these recent trends," she said.

[ MAP: The Spread of Coronavirus ]

Walensky said that recent contact tracing data show that not wearing masks and participating in social gatherings have contributed to the spread of the variants.

Fauci said that more adherence to mitigation measures could contain the variants.

"Right now, we don't have complete, full compliance throughout the country of the fundamental public health measures that are necessary to prevent the spread," Fauci said. "And I believe that if we do, we will be adequately addressing the transmissibility of these particular mutants."

The U.S. reports over 26.4 million cases of the virus and nearly 448,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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