Surgical masks with silk provides advanced protection against viruses

It is better to have a surgical mask with a couple of layers of silk compared to just a plain simple surgical mask as new study showed that a double layer of silk in combination with a surgical mask can enhance its ability to prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19.

Researchers began investigating silk as an alternative face mask material at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 when personal protective equipment such as the N95 face mask was in short supply UC researchers found that double masking with a silk face mask also helps prolong the life of surgical masks without impeding a person’s ability to breathe comfortably. The study was published in the journal Aerosol and Air Quality Research.

Researchers collaborated with researchers with the UC College of Medicine’s Center for Health-Related Aerosol Studies. As cases of COVID-19 begin to increase across the United States, more people are reaching for masks again to protect themselves and those around them.

Masks are becoming a growing source of litter around the world as they take a long time to degrade naturally. So taking full advantage of each mask’s useful lifespan can help prevent waste. Silk fiber has antimicrobial properties. And silk is hydrophobic, which means it sheds water unlike cotton masks that typically absorb it. And silk is far more breathable than cotton.

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