Question: Is it better to wear a mask than not wearing one at all?
Answer: That depends on the mask.
When researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and California Baptist University examined the effect of wearing a three-layer surgical mask on inspiratory airflows--and the mask’s effects on inhalation and deposition of ambient particles in the upper respiratory airways--the results were noteworthy. An examination of the deposition of ambient particles of air in the upper respiratory airways showed that the effectiveness in reducing viral loads in the respiratory tract is unclear.
The objective of the study was to numerically characterize the difference in the deposition distribution of ambient aerosols in the upper airway with and without a mask.
“It is natural to think that wearing a mask, no matter new or old, should always be better than nothing. Our results show that this belief is only true for particles larger than 5 micrometers, but not for fine particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers,” said author Jinxiang Xi.
The study, published in Physics of Fluids (AIP Publishing), found that wearing a mask significantly distorts the airflow and aerodynamics near the face, which alters the inhalability of ambient particles in comparison to not wearing a mask. Moreover, they reported that wearing a mask with low (less than 30%) filtration efficiency can be worse than without.
Read the entire article found here: https://www.machinedesign.com/medical-design/article/21150885/do-surgical-masks-provide-full-or-false-protection.
DEC 21, 2020