Aerosol filtering efficiency of respiratory face masks used during the COVID-19 pandemic

Glykeria Loupa, Dimitra Karali, SPYRIDON RAPSOMANIKIS



The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, effected the imposition of personal protection measures in a large number of countries. The use of commercially available personal face masks was widely accepted as such a protective measure. Since the quality of the face masks scanned the spectrum from surgical to the home made fabric ones, it was considered appropriate to experimentally establish their effectiveness for stopping aerosol in entering the respiratory system of the bearer. Presently, the masks were tested with polydisperse indoor air. Their effectiveness was examined for aerosol of aerodynamic diameters of 0.006 μm to 10 μm. Of these masks, only two were effective for the whole range of aerosol. Cloth masks were found to be ineffective for the whole spectrum of aerosol particle sizes and especially in SARS-CoV-2 virus most abundant size range.