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Is Wearing Three Masks Better Than One?

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • In order to “maximize protection” against COVID-19, researchers recommended layering two types of masks or using a three-layer mask to keep particles out
  • There’s just one pesky problem to covering your mouth and nose with multiple layers of material: “At some point, ‘we run the risk of making it too hard to breathe’”
  • In the included video, Dr. Ted Noel uses a vaping device and several different types of masks — including disposable and cloth — to illustrate that vapor clearly passes around and through the masks
  • The first randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of surgical face masks against SARS-CoV-2 infection found masks did not statistically significantly reduce the incidence of infection
  • Researchers writing in PeerJ said cloth masks have “poor filtering efficiency” due to large, open pores present in the masks; this got even worse after washing, with filtering efficiency dropping by 20% after the mask was washed and dried four times

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