Safety Leaders Respond to Duke University Project on Face Mask Efficacy

Industrial safety leaders urge EHS professionals and workers to go deeper than the headline on reports regarding the efficacy of certain face coverings in limiting spread of COVID-19.

Leaders at safety work gear manufacturer Ergodyne issued a statement today urging caution when it comes to headlines regarding studies on the efficacy of face coverings in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

In the rapidly unfolding world of COVID-19 response, numerous studies comparing the effectiveness of various mask materials in stopping the spread of the virus have been conducted and reported on. Almost all these studies come to one general conclusion: masks and cloth face coverings vary widely in how they protect people from infectious droplets.

One recent, widely shared study––a small-scale, non-clinical student demonstration from Duke University––suggested that a popular covering they described as a “neck fleece” might be counterproductive, claiming it actually increased spread of the virus by dispersing larger droplets into a multitude of smaller particles that remain suspended in air for a longer period of time.

[Note–for a link to information on the original Duke University Project study, please visit: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/08/07/sciadv.abd3083]

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