According to doctors at the Center for Communicable Diseases and AIDS (ULAC), there has not been enough research into the effectiveness of home-made face masks. One such study was conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge. The data revealed that home-made cotton masks hold up to 50 percent. 0.02-1 micron particles, and surgical (medical) masks much more - as much as 80 percent. The study also evaluated the efficacy of the sewn-on mask after 3 hours of wearing. The results showed that humidity and time had very little effect on the effectiveness of the face mask. Face masks have been found to be less effective in children than in adults. Researchers concluded that home-made face masks could only be used as a last resort measure to prevent the transmission of airborne infections from infected individuals. It is said that wearing home-made masks is better than nothing.
ULAC specialists emphasize that wearing medical masks is only one of the means of preventing respiratory infections, including COVID-19, based on recommendations from the World Health Organization. However, wearing a face mask alone does not provide complete protection and should be used in combination with other prevention measures: hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing etiquette.
Wearing home-made medical masks can create a false sense of security and other important preventive measures may be overlooked. It is also important to note that improper use of a face mask can reduce its effectiveness. If you decide to wear a home-made face mask, ULAC experts recommend that you follow the mask use guidelines found here . As the material mask will be reused, proper care is required: when wet, replace it with another, wash with regular detergents, steam and iron at high temperature, and wear only when needed (when you experience symptoms of the disease).