Are homemade masks effective to protect us from coronavirus? Antenna Medicines has investigated and it appears that home-made masks can be very similar in effectiveness to commercial masks, under a few conditions: they must be well fitted to the face and include a filter material.
The filters tested for Covid-19 by Qing-Xia Ma and colleagues (Journal of Medical Virology article, March 31, 2020) is simply household or kitchen paper; in at least three layers, it offers protection equivalent to industrial filters (97% versus 99%).
Instructions on how to make effective masks can be adapted for the most needy: a minimum of material, seamless plus a suitable filter. This mask can also washable with soap and hot water, and the filter changed.
For those who wish to make a more sophisticated model, examples can be found in the following links:
- Watch self-made mask video
- Watch Prof Garin’s mask version video
- For eyeglass wearers, we prefer versions with a “nose clip” (made of wire, pipe cleaner, etc. in the lining) to reduce fogging.
- A Hong Kong hospital handcrafted model / all in paper – watch video
- Hand-made mask tutorial – PDF