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DIY coronavirus masks: Are they doing more harm than good?

DIY coronavirus masks: Are they doing more harm than good?

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way civilians protect themselves and over the course of a month we have seen a rise in DIY face masks.

However there is concern surrounding whether it is necessary for healthy people to wear face masks despite advice via the United States government telling it’s citizens not to bother if they are healthy.

With the thousands of videos popping up online teaching people how to make nonmedical face masks with paper towels, men’s underwear and even bras.

But which one is best for you, and should you even be wearing a DIY mask?

Medical experts and health professions across the globe say a homemade face mask or even a bandana may just prove to be helpful in protecting people from transmitting and getting the virus.

Among the supports includes a 2013 study published in the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness which found well-fitting homemade face masks made from cotton T-shirts will provide protection from droplet transmission.

Epidemiologist and doctor at the University of New South Wales, Raina MacIntyre told The Washington Post there is “no evidence” pointing towards one type.”

The health professions has completed research on the effectiveness of face masks.

“These are all just common-sense approaches people are trying.”

Here are the basic tips people should follow when deciding what face mask they should wear:

  • A mask should provide good coverage for your face – reaching above the bridge of the nose and below the chin.
  • A mask should be snug, not spacious, and it is noted fabric ties could work better than an elastic band.
  • Rewash face masks after every use
  • Layering a face mask at least three times is recommended to make an effective mask and it is helpful to include a small pocket or pouch so a filter may be inserted.
  • Sunlight is “germicidal” MacIntyre noted, so hang the mask outside if possible.
  • Cotton and cotton blends are highly recommended over cloth materials as cloth retains moisture and therefore can be harmful.
  • Non-woven fabrics is also a recommended material to make a face mask, Peter Tsai, the creator of the highest quality of masks recommends.
  • Non-woven fabrics are made of individual fibres that are bound together mechanically, thermally or chemically.
  • Car shop towels are recommended as they filter droplets better than cloths.