New Study Says Neck Gaiters, Bandanas Not As Effective As Masks
For a lot of people, it's a struggle finding the right face covering -- from comfort to style, there's no shortage of options; if you have been opting for a bandana or neck gaiter style face covering though, a new study out of Duke University says they aren't as effective to prevent the spread of coronavirus as masks with ear loops or ties.
The study, which was published Friday in Science Advances, cites the thinnes off fabric as an issue.
One of the co-authors of the study, professor of physics, chemistry, and radiology, Warren S. Warren says, "If you have a mask and you can see through it in the light and you can blow through it, it’s probably not a very good mask.”
The study also said that speaking through these kinds of masks, especially a neck gaiter made of fleece, "seemed to disperse the largest droplets into a multitude of smaller droplets," in what could be described as a hose hitting a window screen splatter effect.
“I think most people really want to do the right thing” and prevent the spread of the virus, Warren said. “If you’re really going to be trying to do that … you have to think a little bit more about what sort of style of mask you’re wearing.”
Key findings from the study include that a paper surgical mask worked almost as well as a N95 mask when it come to blocking droplets from spewing outward, and many homemade masks tested well.
“What we’re really seeing is that most of the homemade solutions, if you fit them right so there aren’t big gaps, they do a pretty decent job, working just about as well as the disposable medical masks,” Warren said.