Poorly fitting face masks increase the risk of airborne diseases

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Sumary of Poorly fitting face masks increase the risk of airborne diseases:

  • And poorly fitting face masks greatly increase the risk of infection from airborne pathogens compared to custom-fitted masks, according to a new study by the University of Cincinnati..
  • Researchers in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science used computerized tomography or CT scans of three different-sized face masks attached to three different-sized dummy heads to measure the gaps between the face and the fabric..
  • They found that while N95 masks are effective barriers against airborne diseases like COVID-19, poorly fitting masks can have substantial leaks around the face that reduce their effectiveness and increase the risk of infection..
  • Banerjee collaborated on the study with his former students, including UC graduates Prasanna Hariharan, Neha Sharma and Gavin D’Souza..
  • UC’s use of CT scans improved the accuracy of contact modeling from previous studies that relied on gap geometry and computational models for estimates..
  • UC used three different sized N95 face masks from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health along with three standard mannequin heads identified as small, medium and large..
  • From the CT scans, they could create a 3D computer-aided design model that showed the gaps between the masks and the face on each subject..
  • The aerosol transport attributed to leaking out the sides of the masks varied from as little as 30% to as much as 95% for the worst-fitting masks….

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