The 4 best masks you can make yourself

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The CDC is expected to recommend that all Americans wear masks in public. Here’s how to make the most effective mask possible, using stuff you have lying around the house. My husband has been making weekly grocery runs to buy food for our family. Until now, the only precaution he has taken has been to bring plenty of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to clean the shopping cart and his hands. But as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases goes up in Boston, where we live, we wonder whether it’s time for him to make his own mask and wear it the next time he ventures out. Read Full Story

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This DIY mask test kit finds that your neck fleece isn’t really helping

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Scientists developing a tool to help mask manufacturers make sure their cloth masks actually work found some masks work better than others, and one kind works particularly badly. If you buy a cloth mask online—whether from Amazon or Etsy or a large manufacturer such as Adidas—you’ll see a warning reminding you that what you’re buying isn’t medical grade. And while the evidence continues to mount that cloth face masks work, it’s also true that every mask isn’t equally effective, and many companies now making masks are doing it for the first time. In the absence of regulation for cloth masks, as shortages of more proven N95 masks continue, how can consumers or the manufacturers making masks know how much protection they offer? Read Full Story

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Most masks feel awful. LG’s breathable mask might finally change that

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It may just be the perfect COVID-19 mask. And don’t be surprised when countless other gadget makers follow suit. As COVID-19 continues to spread in the U.S., masks have become a hot commodity. We’ve seen masks that are cheap . Masks that are reusable and easy to sterilize. And even masks that let you drink . But slowly, it seems that big consumer technology companies are realizing the potential market at play and starting to introduce a new wave of innovative masks with the same enticing features of any must-have gadget. Read Full Story

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Scientists reveal an alarming unintended consequence of wearing masks

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You should absolutely wear a mask in public. But experts agree—be careful it doesn’t make you feel invincible. The science is certain at this point : Wearing a mask can help reduce the likelihood of being infected with COVID-19. But masks alone are far from perfect. Over the past two weeks, as masks have gone from optional to mandatory in many states, I’ve noticed a shift in behavior. I’ve seen people wearing masks at small get-togethers and people wearing masks in stores—all without observing the six feet of social distancing recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read Full Story

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Making a new mask? Some fabrics might filter as well as N95 masks (and you probably have them at home)

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Here’s a new study about the best mask material to add to your pile of mask studies. Do you have silk or flannel or chiffon lying around? Maybe you’ve hacked together a DIY mask from an old T-shirt or pillowcase over the last few weeks. That’s probably good enough for most uses, but if you want to get precise about it, a new study suggests that a combination of two materials could do even more to protect you from spreading or getting the coronavirus. A mask made from a layer of high-thread-count cotton plus two layers of chiffon or silk performs nearly as well as an N95 mask—and does better than an N95 mask at capturing the smallest particles the scientists shot at it. Read Full Story

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What is an N99 mask, and should you buy one?

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A short guide to the world of respirator masks. By now, you probably know more about N95 respirators than you thought possible. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, these masks have become lifesaving tools to medical personnel and other frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19. But lately, you may have spotted ads for N99 or R95 masks. Read Full Story

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