Norristown, PA – New findings show that certain face coverings are substantially less effective than N95 masks. Researchers have also determined that certain types of popular face covering may provide outcomes that are worse than not wearing a mask at all. The findings are based on the number of particles emitted from each mask type.
A recently released study conducted by researchers at Duke University analyzed 14 different facial coverings to determine their effectiveness when measuring the release of airborne particles using a light-scattering technique. This technique allowed researchers to track and count all of the individual particles that were emitted. Each face covering was tested ten times during the study. The masks and covering tested as part of this particular study ranged from the N95 respirator mask to a bandanna.
Duke researchers determined that the N95 mask was by far the most effective for preventing particle spread. No droplets were detected leaving the N95 masks used in any of the ten rounds of testing. The covering that proved to be the least effective was a neck fleece made from polyester spandex, commonly referred to as a neck gaiter. Many people choose neck gaiters because they are considered less restrictive than conventional masks. Unfortunately, the “flexibility” of the neck gaiter prevents this type of facial covering from restricting air.
What’s more, the design of the neck gaiter may actually make wearing one counterproductive. The atypically high droplet count that researchers observed when testing neck gaiters may be linked to the fact that the porous fabric of the covering breaks larger particles into smaller particles that are capable of lingering in the air longer. This means that there’s the potential for a neck gaiter to cause more harm than good. Bandannas and knitted masks also pose similar problems.
“This shows that simply checking the box of covering your face with something may be creating a false sense of security that can prove to be very, very dangerous,” shares a spokesperson for Secure Components, a supplier of masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) out of Norristown, Pennsylvania. The supplier has become a trusted source for many companies, universities, schools, medical clinics and hospitals seeking reliable masks during COVID-19. The company has also been vocal about warning buyers to be wary of new vendors who may not be able to supply vetted, authentic N95 masks during this high demand. Secure Components has notably been recognized as an approved defense contractor specializing in line-down situations and mitigation of counterfeit materials.
Findings regarding the ineffectiveness of neck gaiters and similar facial coverings intensify the need for companies, schools, and hospitals to access steady supplies of authentic N95 masks. Being able to do so may ultimately determine whether some entities will be able to welcome back staff and clients safely. Secure Components has opened up its supply chain for organizations across all industries in need of N95 masks. The company is experienced in fulfilling large, high-demand orders due to its standing as a contractor for the Department of Defense (DoD), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), NASA and countless other private and public enterprises.