The Technical Research Center of Finland (VTT, in its Finnish acronym) has carried out experiments to obtain information on the usefulness of fabric masks in combating the coronavirus. The conclusion is simple: regular cloth masks made with cotton or polyester do not protect those who wear them, but they can help protect others.
According to VTT, the study showed that wearers of fabric masks are several times more likely to be infected by the Covid-19 than wearers of professional protective equipment.
The main effect of wearing a mask is that it increases protection of the other people. And this also increases overall safety, for example at public transport and other cramped spaces.
But fabric masks do not act as shields against the virus, says VTT, who has produced two videos to illustrate the difference between wearing a mask or not within 30 seconds of a cough.
Cough simulation flow without mask
Cough simulation flow with a mask
Interact with others
VTT emphasizes that the fabric mask effectively collects exhaled microbes. So, the main effect of wearing a mask is that it reduces risks of spreading the virus when interacting with others, especially indoors and even if the distance is less than 2 meters.
The Technical Research Center also says polyester proved in tests to be more effective than cotton in filtering virus particles.