The debate as to whether face masks are useful in stopping the spread of coronavirus continues to rage on, with the UK government not enforcing them for the general public. However, they will certainly not be harmful in the battle against coronavirus, and a new study has revealed the best materials to use for stopping the spread.
Researchers from the Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago in the United States have been analysing the best common materials which can be used to make a face mask.
The team found that using a “hybrid” of different materials is the most effective way to stop the spread, using items which are commonly found in the home.
As well as using several materials to make the mask, the scientists also say it is best to layer the materials.
The research published in the journal ACS Nano said: “We have carried out these studies for several common fabrics including cotton, silk, chiffon, flannel, various synthetics, and their combinations.
“Overall, we find that combinations of various commonly available fabrics used in cloth masks can potentially provide significant protection against the transmission of aerosol particles.
“Filtration efficiencies of the hybrids (such as cotton–silk, cotton–chiffon, cotton–flannel) was >80 percent (for particles <300 nanometres=”” and=””>90 percent (for particles >300 nanometres).
“We speculate that the enhanced performance of the hybrids is likely due to the combined effect of mechanical and electrostatic-based filtration.
“Our studies also imply that gaps (as caused by an improper fit of the mask) can result in more than a 60 percent decrease in the filtration efficiency.”
Around the world, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has now surpassed three million – impacting every corner of the globe. The number of dead from the disease has also exceeded 200,000.
The US now appears to be the epicentre of the disease with cases skyrocketing in recent week.
More than 987,000 people have been confirmed infected in the States, more than quadruple the second-highest on the list, Spain, which has more than 226,000 confirmed cases.
Despite the US seeing the most cases and deaths, US President Donald Trump has deflected criticism by blaming the World Health Organization (WHO) for its response and has withdrawn funding for the organisation.