In the event where you don’t have access to high-efficiency masks, you might be able to use multi-layer masks consisting of hybrids of mechanical and electrostatic-based filtration.

For example, a layer of woven cloth, non-woven fabrics made by melt blowing technique, and other synthetic material combined with two layers of either natural silk, muslin, cotton or flannel, preferably with a thread count of at least 600 threads per inch (TPI), can be used as a general template. At the same time, using a layer of a vacuum cleaner filter or bag can provide added protection. Be mindful of the fact that adding layers will reduce your ability to breathe comfortably through the filtration; this might allow you to pull unfiltered air from the side of your masks for your inhalation.

We highly recommend using additional tools to help with the seal of your mask, even if you use surgical masks. Mask brackets with proper sealing, braces, nose wires, and clips are a few tools to help seal your masks.

Neck gaiters and bandanas are not as tight-fitting and don’t provide the needed filtration.

The proper selection of the mask is essential. Please visit Masks and Respirators to learn more.