DIY Face Mask For Coronavirus Protection
Due to the massive shortage of N95 masks and personal protection equipment (PPE) that protect us — and especially healthcare workers — against the COVID-19 Coronavirus, I thought I would share with you a little research that I think is plausible for a DIY face mask.
It is important to note that I am not guaranteeing results or effectiveness so this should not be construed as medical advice.
I think it is super important to note that as of today 3/19/20 we are almost out of N95 PPE masks for healthcare professionals. See #PPEshortage or #MillionMaskMayday on Twitter. If you have the ability to make a few for healthcare professionals, I would encourage you to do so! There is an extensive thread about this here: https://twitter.com/MtnMD/status/1240465267597045761
Researchers at Cambridge University tested a wide range of household materials for homemade masks.
SEE: Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks: Would They Protect in an Influenza Pandemic? https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258525804_Testing_the_Efficacy_of_Homemade_Masks_Would_They_Protect_in_an_Influenza_Pandemic#pf7
What they determined is that Tea Cloth (a tightly woven dish towel) when doubled has the same effectiveness in keeping out particles as surgical masks, and that Vacuum cleaner bags are almost as effective as surgical masks.
My Additional Research
The Coronavirus is about .03 microns but normally measures between .05 and 0.2 microns in diameter . What we need are household or common items that filter out the small particulates. True HEPA filters that filter out 97% plus of particulates including viruses (be aware that HEPA and HEPA ‘like’ or HEPA ‘style’ are not the same thing), air / furnace filters that have a MERV rating above 16 (I’ve hear some say 13, but I’d use above 16 to be safe), and some vacuum bags. It is difficult to find particulate ratings for vacuum bags. True HEPA filters meet these specific standards, falling in the MERV 17–19 range