November 20, 2020 3:47 pm

With the practice of wearing masks and regular disinfection becoming the norm in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic

Tailors See Strong Demand For Protective Face Masks

With the practice of wearing masks and regular disinfection becoming the norm in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic, developing and improving masks have become a point of interest in the scientific community. Now, researchers have fabricated a chemically-altered face mask that can “deactivate” pathogens such as the novel coronavirus.

A research team from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, has proposed a method that would allow a face mask to chemically modulate exhaled droplets and make them “less infectious.” The details of their work are published in the journal Matter.

face mask that sanitizes respiratory droplets would greatly reduce the risks of transmitting diseases that rely on air or droplets. Researchers simulated respiratory actions – inhaling, exhaling, coughing, and sneezing in a laboratory setup to demonstrate their proof of concept. It showed non-woven fabrics incorporated into commercially available face masks work well. For example, a lint-free wipe of 19 percent fiber density can sanitize up to 82 percent of expelled respiratory droplets by volume.

Made-to-order protective face masks lie on an ironing board at the workshop of master tailor Ala Hadye on April 02, 2020, in Berlin, Germany. Hadye, who has had to close her shop due to nationwide measures enacted to slow the coronavirus spread, says she is making 30 to 40 masks per week on a custom order from her customers. “I could be making masks all week,” she said but said she turns large orders down and concentrates instead on her core customers. “There are so many others making masks,” she says of other tailors she knows. Since her shop is closed, she sends the masks to her customers by post rather than having them come to the shop.

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Researchers also reported that the non-woven fabric in the experiment did not hinder respiration, and the chemicals in the altered mask were not expelled during the simulated respirations.

Prashant Tambe

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