While vaccinations reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission, it is still possible for vaccinated individuals to spread the Delta variant.
Seshadri Ramkumar, professor of chemical countermeasures and advanced materials in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX/USA, has gathered data on the effectiveness of face masks in reducing the spread of Covid-19.
The Fractional Efficiency Filter Testeris a cutting-edge piece of equipment that measures a material’s ability to filter out particles. Using this instrument, Ramkumar’s team has demonstrated that 3-ply masks filter out 60-80% of simulated viral particles between 150 and 30 nm in diameter, respectively; thus, commercially available 3-ply masks are up to 80% effective in protecting individuals against smaller viral particles.
Ramkumar is also working on enhancing the filtration efficiency of cotton face masks – especially important in light of the recent emergence of the Delta variant, which carries 2-3 times more viral loads per droplet than the original corona virus strain and poses a much higher risk of infection.