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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 2445, 2022 02 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684114

ABSTRACT

Surgical masks have become critical for protecting human health against the COVID-19 pandemic, even though their environmental burden is a matter of ongoing debate. This study aimed at shedding light on the environmental impacts of single-use (i.e., MD-Type I) versus reusable (i.e., MD-Type IIR) face masks via a comparative life cycle assessment with a cradle-to-grave system boundary. We adopted a two-level analysis using the ReCiPe (H) method, considering both midpoint and endpoint categories. The results showed that reusable face masks created fewer impacts for most midpoint categories. At the endpoint level, reusable face masks were superior to single-use masks, producing scores of 16.16 and 84.20 MPt, respectively. The main environmental impacts of single-use masks were linked to raw material consumption, energy requirements and waste disposal, while the use phase and raw material consumption made the most significant contribution for reusable type. However, our results showed that lower environmental impacts of reusable face masks strongly depend on the use phase since reusable face masks lost their superior performance when the hand wash scenario was tested. Improvement of mask eco-design emerged as another key factor such as using more sustainable raw materials and designing better waste disposal scenarios could significantly lower the environmental impacts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Textiles/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Disposable Equipment/standards , Ecosystem , Environment , Equipment Reuse/standards , Humans , Masks/classification , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/classification , Public Health/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Textiles/classification
2.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 11(1): 30, 2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1677540

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Protecting healthcare workers (HCWs) from exposure to SARS-CoV-2 during patient care is central to managing the current pandemic. Higher levels of trust in personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection prevention and control (IPC) strategies have been previously related to lower levels of emotional exhaustion, yet little is known on how to achieve such a perception of safety. We thus sought to identify institutional actions, strategies and policies related to HCWs' safety perception during the early phase of the pandemic at a tertiary care center in Switzerland by interviewing HCWs from different clinics, professions, and positions. METHODS: For this qualitative study, 36 face-to-face semi-structured interviews were performed. Interviews were based on a guide that addressed the perception of institutional strategies and policies during the first phase of the pandemic in March 2020. The participants included doctors (n = 19) and nurses (n = 17) in senior and non-senior positions from eight clinics in the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland, all involved in patient care. All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis and organized using MAXQDA (VERBI Software GmbH, Berlin). FINDINGS: Five recurring themes were identified to affect HCWs' perception of their safety during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: (1) transparency and clarity of information, (2) communication on the availability of PPE (with the provision of information alone increasing the feeling of safety even if supplies of PPE were reported as low), (3) uniformity and consistency of guidelines, (4) digital resources to support face-to-face teaching (although personal information transfer is still being considered superior in terms of strengthening safety perception) and (5) support and appreciation for the work performed. CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies institutional policies and actions influencing HCWs' safety perception during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the most important of which is the factor of transparent communication. This knowledge reveals potential areas of action critical to improving preparedness and management in hospitals faced with an infectious disease threat.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment , Tertiary Care Centers , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Patient Care , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Switzerland/epidemiology
3.
Am J Emerg Med ; 53: 122-126, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638161

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Endotracheal intubation (ETI) is still the gold standard of airway management, but in cases of sudden cardiac arrest in patients with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection, ETI is associated with risks for both the patient and the medical personnel. We hypothesized that the Vie Scope® is more useful for endotracheal intubation of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cardiac arrest patients than the conventional laryngoscope with Macintosh blade when operators are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). METHODS: Study was designed as a prospective, multicenter, randomized clinical trial performed by Emergency Medical Services in Poland. Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis who needed cardiopulmonary resuscitation in prehospital setting were included. Patients under 18 years old or with criteria predictive of impossible intubation under direct laryngoscopy, were excluded. Patients were randomly allocated 1:1 to Vie Scope® versus direct laryngoscopy with a Macintosh blade. Study groups were compared on success of intubation attempts, time to intubation, glottis visualization and number of optimization maneuvers. RESULTS: We enrolled 90 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients, aged 43-92 years. Compared to the VieScope® laryngoscope, use of the Macintosh laryngoscope required longer times for tracheal intubation with an estimated mean difference of -48 s (95%CI confidence interval [CI], -60.23, -35.77; p < 0.001). Moreover VieScope® improved first attempt success rate, 93.3% vs. 51.1% respectively (odds ratio [OR] = 13.39; 95%CI: 3.62, 49.58; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The use of the Vie Scope® laryngoscope in OHCA patients improved the first attempt success rate, and reduced intubation time compared to Macintosh laryngoscope in paramedics wearing PPE for against aerosol generating procedures. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials registration number NCT04365608.


Subject(s)
Allied Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Intubation, Intratracheal/instrumentation , Laryngoscopes/standards , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Airway Management/instrumentation , Airway Management/methods , Airway Management/statistics & numerical data , Allied Health Personnel/standards , Female , Humans , Intubation, Intratracheal/methods , Intubation, Intratracheal/statistics & numerical data , Laryngoscopes/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment/adverse effects , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/statistics & numerical data , Prospective Studies , Resuscitation/instrumentation , Resuscitation/methods , Resuscitation/statistics & numerical data
4.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24490, 2021 12 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594104

ABSTRACT

During the first wave of Covid-19 infections in Germany in April 2020, clinics reported a shortage of filtering face masks with aerosol retention> 94% (FFP2 & 3, KN95, N95). Companies all over the world increased their production capacities, but quality control of once-certified materials and masks came up short. To help identify falsely labeled masks and ensure safe protection equipment, we tested 101 different batches of masks in 993 measurements with a self-made setup based on DIN standards. An aerosol generator provided a NaCl test aerosol which was applied to the mask. A laser aerosol spectrometer measured the aerosol concentration in a range from 90 to 500 nm to quantify the masks' retention. Of 101 tested mask batches, only 31 batches kept what their label promised. Especially in the initial phase of the pandemic in Germany, we observed fluctuating mask qualities. Many batches show very high variability in aerosol retention. In addition, by measuring with a laser aerosol spectrometer, we were able to show that not all masks filter small and large particles equally well. In this study we demonstrate how important internal and independent quality controls are, especially in times of need and shortage of personal protection equipment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Aerosols , Filtration/instrumentation , Germany , Humans , Masks/standards , Masks/trends , N95 Respirators/standards , N95 Respirators/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Quality Control , Respiratory Protective Devices/standards , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
6.
Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 15(12): 1349-1359, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532355

ABSTRACT

Endoscopists are at high risk of exposure and nosocomial transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 virus) when performing endoscopic procedures due to the highly aerosol generating nature of these procedures. At present, there is still no consensus among endoscopists with regards to the type of protective equipment to be worn by healthcare workers, when performing endoscopy during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This review encompasses a summary of currently published guidelines related to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) when performing endoscopic procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. With increasing calls to rationalize the use of PPE due to shortages in global supply chains, the review offers a concise summary on the most appropriate and adequate use of PPE when performing endoscopy during the pandemic. It is expected that these adaptations in the use of PPE during the pandemic will help to improve standards of care and safety of healthcare workers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Infection Control/methods , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260261, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528726

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. In low- and middle- income countries, they may be particularly impacted by underfunded health systems, lack of personal protective equipment, challenging working conditions and barriers in accessing personal healthcare. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, occupational health screening was implemented at the largest public sector medical centre in Harare, Zimbabwe, during the "first wave" of the country's COVID-19 epidemic. Clients were voluntarily screened for symptoms of COVID-19, and if present, offered a SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection assay. In addition, measurement of height, weight, blood pressure and HbA1c, HIV and TB testing, and mental health screening using the Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ-14) were offered. An interviewer-administered questionnaire ascertained client knowledge and experiences related to COVID-19. RESULTS: Between 27th July and 30th October 2020, 951 healthcare workers accessed the service; 210 (22%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2, of whom 12 (5.7%) tested positive. Clients reported high levels of concern about COVID-19 which declined with time, and faced barriers including lack of resources for infection prevention and control. There was a high prevalence of largely undiagnosed non-communicable disease: 61% were overweight or obese, 34% had a blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above, 10% had an HbA1c diagnostic of diabetes, and 7% had an SSQ-14 score consistent with a common mental disorder. Overall 8% were HIV-positive, with 97% previously diagnosed and on treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Cases of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare workers mirrored the national epidemic curve. Implementation of comprehensive occupational health services during a pandemic was feasible, and uptake was high. Other comorbidities were highly prevalent, which may be risk factors for severe COVID-19 but are also important independent causes of morbidity and mortality. Healthcare workers are critical to combatting COVID-19; it is essential to support their physical and psychological wellbeing during the pandemic and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Health Services/standards , Occupational Health/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Zimbabwe/epidemiology
8.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(3): e74-e87, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510480

ABSTRACT

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, health-care workers and uninfected patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are at risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 as a result of transmission from infected patients and health-care workers. In the absence of high-quality evidence on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, clinical practice of infection control and prevention in ICUs varies widely. Using a Delphi process, international experts in intensive care, infectious diseases, and infection control developed consensus statements on infection control for SARS-CoV-2 in an ICU. Consensus was achieved for 31 (94%) of 33 statements, from which 25 clinical practice statements were issued. These statements include guidance on ICU design and engineering, health-care worker safety, visiting policy, personal protective equipment, patients and procedures, disinfection, and sterilisation. Consensus was not reached on optimal return to work criteria for health-care workers who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 or the acceptable disinfection strategy for heat-sensitive instruments used for airway management of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Well designed studies are needed to assess the effects of these practice statements and address the remaining uncertainties.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Consensus , Infection Control/standards , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Intensive Care Units/standards , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Delphi Technique , Health Personnel/standards , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment/standards
10.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(37): e27240, 2021 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434546

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the mandatory use of personal protective equipment (PPE) has resulted in a significant reduction in the infection rate among health care workers (HCWs). However, there are some ongoing concerns about the negative impact of using PPE for prolonged periods.This study examined the impact of wearing PPE on surgeons' performance and decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic.In this cross-sectional study, an anonymous online questionnaire was created and disseminated to surgeons all over the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire included the demographic data, the local hospital policies, the non-technical skills (e.g., communication, vision, and comfort) and the technical skills, and the process of decision making.From June 2020 to August 2020, 162 surgeons participated in this questionnaire. Of them, 80.2% were aged from 26 to 45 years, 70.4% have received a special training for PPE, and 59.3% of participants have operated on COVID-19 confirmed cases. A negative impact of wearing PPE was reported on their overall comfort, vision, and communication skills (92.6%, 95.1%, and 82.8%, respectively). The technical skills and decision making were not significantly affected (60.5% and 72.8%, respectively). More preference for conservative approach, damage control procedures, and/or open approach was reported.Despite its benefits, PPE is associated with a significant negative impact on the non-technical skills (including vision, communication, and comfort) as well as a non-significant negative impact on technical skills and decision making of surgeons. Extra efforts should be directed to improve PPE, especially during lengthy pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Decision Making , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Surgeons/psychology , Adult , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment/statistics & numerical data , Saudi Arabia , Surgeons/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires
12.
Anesth Analg ; 133(4): 876-890, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412364

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), often results in severe hypoxemia requiring airway management. Because SARS-CoV-2 virus is spread via respiratory droplets, bag-mask ventilation, intubation, and extubation may place health care workers (HCW) at risk. While existing recommendations address airway management in patients with COVID-19, no guidance exists specifically for difficult airway management. Some strategies normally recommended for difficult airway management may not be ideal in the setting of COVID-19 infection. To address this issue, the Society for Airway Management (SAM) created a task force to review existing literature and current practice guidelines for difficult airway management by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Management of the Difficult Airway. The SAM task force created recommendations for the management of known or suspected difficult airway in the setting of known or suspected COVID-19 infection. The goal of the task force was to optimize successful airway management while minimizing exposure risk. Each member conducted a literature review on specific clinical practice section utilizing standard search engines (PubMed, Ovid, Google Scholar). Existing recommendations and evidence for difficult airway management in the COVID-19 context were developed. Each specific recommendation was discussed among task force members and modified until unanimously approved by all task force members. Elements of Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE) Reporting Checklist for dissemination of clinical practice guidelines were utilized to develop this statement. Airway management in the COVID-19 patient increases HCW exposure risk. Difficult airway management often takes longer and may involve multiple procedures with aerosolization potential, and strict adherence to personal protective equipment (PPE) protocols is mandatory to reduce risk to providers. When a patient's airway risk assessment suggests that awake tracheal intubation is an appropriate choice of technique, and procedures that may cause increased aerosolization of secretions should be avoided. Optimal preoxygenation before induction with a tight seal facemask may be performed to reduce the risk of hypoxemia. Unless the patient is experiencing oxygen desaturation, positive pressure bag-mask ventilation after induction may be avoided to reduce aerosolization. For optimal intubating conditions, patients should be anesthetized with full muscle relaxation. Videolaryngoscopy is recommended as a first-line strategy for airway management. If emergent invasive airway access is indicated, then we recommend a surgical technique such as scalpel-bougie-tube, rather than an aerosolizing generating procedure, such as transtracheal jet ventilation. This statement represents recommendations by the SAM task force for the difficult airway management of adults with COVID-19 with the goal to optimize successful airway management while minimizing the risk of clinician exposure.


Subject(s)
Airway Management/standards , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel/standards , Infection Control/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Societies, Medical/standards , Adult , Advisory Committees/standards , Airway Extubation/methods , Airway Extubation/standards , Airway Management/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Intubation, Intratracheal/methods , Intubation, Intratracheal/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards
13.
West J Emerg Med ; 22(5): 1045-1050, 2021 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405508

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has reinforced the importance of facial protection against droplet transmission of diseases. Healthcare workers wear personal protection equipment (PPE), including face shields and masks. Plastic face shields may have advantages over regular medical masks. Although many designs of face shields exist, there is a paucity of evidence regarding the efficacy of shield designs against droplet transmissions. There is even less published evidence comparing various face shields. Due to the urgency of the pandemic and the health and safety of healthcare workers, we aimed to study the efficacy of various face shields against droplet transmission. METHODS: We simulated droplet transmission via coughing using a heavy-duty chemical spray bottle filled with fluorescein. A standard-adult sized mannequin head was used. The mannequin head wore various face shields and was positioned to face the spray bottle at either a 0°, 45°, or 90° angle. The spray bottle was positioned at and sprayed from 30 centimeters (cm), 60 cm, or 90 cm away from the head. These steps were repeated for all face shields used. Control was a mannequin that wore no PPE. A basic mask was also tested. We collected data for particle count, total area of particle distribution, average particle size, and percentage area covered by particles. We analyzed percent covered by particles using a repeated measures mixed-model regression with Tukey-Kramer pairwise comparison. RESULTS: We used least square means to estimate the percentage area covered by particles. Wearing PPE regardless of the design reduced particle transmission to the mannequin compared to the control. The LCG mask had the lowest square means of 0.06 of all face-shield designs analyzed. Tukey-Kramer pairwise comparison showed that all PPEs had a decrease in particle contamination compared to the control. LCG shield was found to have the least contamination compared to all other masks (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Results suggest the importance of wearing a protective covering against droplet transmission. The LCG shield was found to decrease facial contamination by droplets the most of any tested protective equipment.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/analysis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Personal Protective Equipment/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cough , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Manikins , Masks/standards , Particle Size , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , SARS-CoV-2
14.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257064, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394555

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has brought significant pressure on nurses globally as they are the frontline of care. This study aimed to explore the experiences and challenges of nurses who worked with hospitalised patients with COVID-19. In this qualitative study, a purposive sample of 14 nurses participated in in-depth telephone interviews. Data were analysed using Colaizzi's phenomenological method. Five key themes emerged: (1) physical and psychological distress of nurses, (2) willingness to work, (3) the essential role of support mechanisms, (4) educational and informational needs of nurses and (5) the role of modern technology in COVID-19 care. Although the provision of care led to physical and psychological distress among nurses, with their commitment and professional obligation, it is a new experience that leads to personal satisfaction. Guilty feeling related to inefficiency of care, witnessing the suffering of patients, discomfort associated with wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), work-related issues (e.g., long hour shifts), negative impact to the family and rejection by others are the leading distress factors. Religious beliefs, including keeping trust in good and bad merits, have become a strong coping mechanism. Addressing distress among nurses is essential. The reported learning needs of nurses included skills related to donning and doffing PPE, skills in performing nursing procedures and breaking bad news. Nurse managers need to pay special attention to expanding training opportunities as well as support mechanisms, for example, welfare, appreciations and counselling services for nurses. Modern technology, particularly robots and telecommunication, can perform an essential role in COVID-19 care. The establishment of timely policies and strategies to protect health workers during a national disaster like COVID-19 is needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Nurses/psychology , Nursing Staff, Hospital/psychology , Pandemics , Adaptation, Psychological , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Fear/psychology , Female , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Psychological Distress , Psychology, Clinical , Robotics/standards , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Telecommunications
17.
PLoS One ; 15(10): e0240499, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388890

ABSTRACT

During the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic there is unprecedented demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), especially N95 respirators and surgical masks. The ability of SARS-CoV-2 to be transmitted via respiratory droplets from asymptomatic individuals has necessitated increased usage of both N95 respirators in the healthcare setting and masks (both surgical and homemade) in public spaces. These precautions rely on two fundamental principles of transmission prevention: particle filtration and droplet containment. The former is the focus of NIOSH N95 testing guidelines, and the latter is an FDA guideline for respirators and surgical masks. While studies have investigated droplet containment to provide guidance for homemade mask production, limited work has been done to characterize the filtration efficiency (FE) of materials used in home mask making. In this work, we demonstrate the low-cost (<$300) conversion of standard equipment used to fit-test respirators in hospital and industrial settings into a setup that measures quantitative FEs of materials based on NIOSH N95 guidelines, and subsequently measure FEs of materials found in healthcare and consumer spaces. These materials demonstrate significant variability in filtration characteristics, even for visually similar materials. We demonstrate a FE of 96.49% and pressure drop of 25.4 mmH20 for a double-layer of sterilization wrap used in surgical suites and a FE of 90.37% for a combination of consumer-grade materials. The excellent filtration characteristics of the former demonstrate potential utility for emergent situations when N95 respirators are not available, while those of the latter demonstrate that a high FE can be achieved using publicly available materials.


Subject(s)
Air Filters/standards , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Equipment Safety/methods , Masks/standards , Materials Testing/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Respiratory Protective Devices/standards , Aerosols , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Equipment Safety/instrumentation , Health Personnel , Humans , Materials Testing/instrumentation , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
19.
ACS Nano ; 14(7): 9188-9200, 2020 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387153

ABSTRACT

Filtration efficiency (FE), differential pressure (ΔP), quality factor (QF), and construction parameters were measured for 32 cloth materials (14 cotton, 1 wool, 9 synthetic, 4 synthetic blends, and 4 synthetic/cotton blends) used in cloth masks intended for protection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus (diameter 100 ± 10 nm). Seven polypropylene-based fiber filter materials were also measured including surgical masks and N95 respirators. Additional measurements were performed on both multilayered and mixed-material samples of natural, synthetic, or natural-synthetic blends to mimic cloth mask construction methods. Materials were microimaged and tested against size selected NaCl aerosol with particle mobility diameters between 50 and 825 nm. Three of the top five best performing samples were woven 100% cotton with high to moderate yarn counts, and the other two were woven synthetics of moderate yarn counts. In contrast to recently published studies, samples utilizing mixed materials did not exhibit a significant difference in the measured FE when compared to the product of the individual FE for the components. The FE and ΔP increased monotonically with the number of cloth layers for a lightweight flannel, suggesting that multilayered cloth masks may offer increased protection from nanometer-sized aerosol with a maximum FE dictated by breathability (i.e., ΔP).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Masks/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Respiratory Protective Devices/standards , Textiles/standards , Aerosols/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Filtration , Humans , Masks/virology , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Nanoparticles/virology , Personal Protective Equipment/virology , Respiratory Protective Devices/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Textiles/adverse effects , Textiles/virology
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