Not an inspector. But do we have your attention?               Gaiters                                     Wayre

Face masks have become essential.  Like home inspectors.

               At first, there were practically none to be found.  This led to more than a more than a few misfits.   There still are plenty.

               Meanwhile, there has been lots of mask testing.  Everyone knows PLI is the leading data source.  We just follow the facts.

               Here’s a quick summary of top test results.

               N95 masks are the gold standard.  Nothing short of Israeli gas masks does better.  They keep you safe as well as protecting others.  The name comes from its ability to filter out 95% of air-borne particles.

               Then come KN95 masks, which ought to be as good.  Turns out some fall short.  Still, practically all are safer for you and others.  We have taken a deeper dive on this a few months ago:

               Then come cloth masks.  Essentially, the more layers (up to 5) the better.

               The top 4 cloth masks, of 50 tested by The Wall Street Journal Aug. 29, were:

               #1.  Wayre.  5 layers.  $18. 

              #2. Marcellamoda.  Wire nose with adjustable straps.  $14.

              #3. Atoms.  Poly outer layer with copper lined quarter yarn inner.  Avoids fogging glasses.  $12.

              #4. Caraa.  Tin cotton for best breathing.  $25.

               What about neck gaiters?  Duke studied them, reporting results Aug. 25.  Gaiters are a tube of fabric worn around the neck to keep skiers and runners warm in the cold.

               Single layer gaiters blocked only 10% of small (0.5 micron) droplets.  Two layer gaiters blocked 20%. 

               But here’s the eye-opener:  When the single layer gaiter was doubled, it blocked more than 90% of all particles.

               Statistics of mask testing show any face covering will block at least some percentage of droplets routinely expelled when we speak or cough.  There are exceptions.  The mask dangling from one ear is worse than useless; it’s rude.  And the recycled bra C-cups, recommended by too many junk blogs, only mean you look absurd.  Holes in masks for straws or coffee cups defeat the purpose.  No mask can do its job unless mouth and nose are covered.

               Meanwhile, let’s stay safe out there.

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