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April 2020, Week 4


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Annie Schultz <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Annie Schultz <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 25 Apr 2020 14:53:00 -0400
text/plain (115 lines)
Here’s a pre-print study from medRxiv.  It hasn’t been peer reviewed yet: 

Assessment of Fabric Masks as Alternatives to
Standard Surgical Masks in Terms of Particle Filtration Efficiency, Amy V. Mueller, Loretta A Fernandez

Although it’s not evident from the title of the study, it does involve nylon.

I tried to paste the text below.  Hopefully, it comes through.

I hope this helps.

All my very best,


Assessment of Fabric Masks as Alternatives to Standard Surgical Masks in Terms of Particle Filtration Efficiency

Amy V Mueller, Loretta A Fernandez
This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.
AbstractInfo/HistoryMetrics Preview PDF

In response to the critical shortage of medical masks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, large portions of the population are mobilizing to produce cloth masks using locally-sourced fabrics, however the efficacy of these masks as a means of protecting the wearer from airborne particles carrying virus is not well known. Further, existing protocols are designed for testing the fit and performance N95 respirators and tight-fitting facemasks rather than the relatively more loose-fitting surgical mask style most cloth masks follow. In this study tools and methods typically used to assess tight-fitting facemasks were modified to assess the efficacy of community-produced fabric and commercially-produced surgical masks in terms of protecting the wearer from airborne particles that may be carrying virus. Two TSI PortaCount (model 8028) instruments were operated concurrently to collect particle counts (particles/cm3) in size range 0.02 to >1 um from ambient air and air just inside the breathing zone of the mask (1 measurement per second, evaluation period of 1 minute per test). Percent particle removal was determined for ten home-made, fabric masks of different designs, with and without filter layers, as well as three commercially-produced surgical-type masks. N95 masks were used to validate the method, and a 3M model 1826 surgical mask was used as a baseline for comparison of other masks of this style. Home-made masks worn as designed always had lower particle removal rates than the 3M masks, achieving between 38% and 96% of this baseline. As has been previously observed by Cooper et al. (1983), adding a layer of nylon stocking over the masks minimized the flow of air around the edges of the masks and improved particle filtration efficiency for all masks, including all commercial products tested. Use of a nylon stocking overlayer brought the particle filtration efficiency for five of the ten fabric masks above the 3M surgical mask baseline. This rapid testing method (<2 hours per mask design) provides a holistic evaluation of mask particle removal efficacy (material, design, and fit), and use of this method for testing a wider range of mask materials and designs will provide the public and health care providers with information needed to optimize health protection given resources at hand.

Competing Interest Statement

The authors have declared no competing interest.

Funding Statement

No external funding was received for the this work.

Author Declarations

All relevant ethical guidelines have been followed; any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained and details of the IRB/oversight body are included in the manuscript.


All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.


I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).


I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.


Paper in collection COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv
Copyright The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted medRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. All rights reserved. No reuse allowed without permission.


Ann M. Schultz, JD, MLIS
Certified in Information Management 
Licensed to Practice Law, State of Michigan (P70355)
Mobile: (810) 858-7867
Email: [log in to unmask]

"Our greatest fear should not be of failure...but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."

~ Francis Chan ~

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value."

 ~ Albert Einstein ~

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

~ Milton Berle ~

Sent from my iPhone 💡

> On Apr 25, 2020, at 10:29 AM, Johnson, Cynthia F. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Does anyone have any studies or articles in support of the benefits of using Nylon Stockings with masks:  see NPR article:
> Cynthia Francesca Johnson, M.S., Medical Librarian/CME Program Manager
> Natividad's Medical Library/Continued Medical Education Program
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