CDC Guideline Updates
Choosing the best mask for you and your loved ones is of utmost concern.
Here is an overview of the most recent CDC guidelines, released November 11, 2020.
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In brief, this is what we’ve got for you.
NUMBER OF LAYERS
The number of layers used in a mask should be a minimum of two, preferably three.
WHAT TO AVOID
We are told to stay away from bandanas and gaiter masks, unless of course that is all that’s available.
The fit should fall “over the bridge of the nose, below the chin, and flush on the face, resting along the skin. Your breath should flow through the filtration system and not out the sides of the mask.”
The material used should be 100% tightly woven cotton. According to the CDC, “multiple layers of cloth with a higher thread count have demonstrated superior performance compared to single layers with lower thread counts, in some cases filtering nearly 50% of fine particles less than one micron.
In addition to the recommended number of layers and type of material to be used for an effective mask is the CDC’s recommendation on mask enhancements, also known as filters.
The CDC says that polypropylene, one of the most commonly produced plastics in the world, may “enhance filtering effectiveness” because it creates a triboelectric charge — or in simple terms, static cling.
That electrical static traps both your outgoing respiration and any droplets headed your way from others. Because cotton is a more comfortable fabric on the skin, polypropylene is often used as filters that can be placed inside of a two- or three-ply mask.
Also, a very breathable option, according to the CDC is silk, which may help repel moist droplets and reduce fabric wetting and thus maintain breathability and comfort.
A study examining the ability of cotton, polyester, and silk to repel moisture showed to be as effective as a disposable single use surgical mask.