Q: I have accumulated several face masks during the mandate. Which fabrics are best for filtering particles in the air?
A: Researchers agree that the best facial covering is the one a person will wear. Equally important is the fit of the covering.
In some circumstances, the employer determines which masks/facial coverings are allowed, depending on the likelihood of coming in close proximity to someone with COVID-19. Health-care workers, hospital staff, dentists, dental assistants, teachers, firefighter and police officers, for example, may be required to wear the N95 masks, which filter 95% of particles that are 0.3 microns in size or larger. (For comparison, the diameter of a human hair is about 70 microns.) Remember, though, that N95 masks with valves do not protect those around you, because the wearer’s exhaled breath is unfiltered and allows droplets to escape.
During the early phase of the pandemic, the N95 and surgical