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A simple surgical mask modification to pass N95 respirator-equivalent fit testing standards during the COVID-19 pandemic

A simple surgical mask modification to pass N95 respirator-equivalent fit testing standards during the COVID-19 pandemic

Source :

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0272834

Background The COVID-19 pandemic has infected hundreds of millions of people resulting in millions of deaths worldwide. While N95 respirators remain the gold standard as personal protective equipment, they are resource-intensive to produce and obtain. Surgical masks, easier to produce and obtain, filter ≥95% submicron particles but are less protective due to a lack of seal around a user's face.


Conclusions: Rubber bands, a low-cost and easily-accessible modification, can improve the seal and protective ability of a standard surgical mask to the level of an N95 respirator. This could mitigate N95 respirator shortages worldwide and provide individuals in under-resourced regions a practical means for increased personal respiratory protection.