Infographic: What We Know About How Masks Can Slow Disease Spread
Infographic: What We Know About How Masks Can Slow Disease Spread

Infographic: What We Know About How Masks Can Slow Disease Spread

Not all masks are created equal, and how they are worn makes a difference too.

Diana Kwon
Diana Kwon
Jul 8, 2020
© SONJA PINSKER

N95 respirator: Tight-fitting single-use masks typically made with synthetic materials such as polyester and polypropylene. These masks are able to filter out at least 95 percent of both large airborne droplets and aerosols.

Surgical/medical masks: Loose-fitting single-use masks made with three or more layers of synthetic materials. These can filter out large airborne particles, but some aerosols can leak through, and particle-containing air is able to flow around the edges. 

Fabric masks: These often-homemade masks vary widely in their construction and effectiveness. Aerosols are likely to leak through, and particle-containing air is able to flow around the edges. With appropriate washing or a couple of days to decontaminate, fabric masks are reusable.

© SONJA PINSKER

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