Measuring the Filtration Efficiency of the Best-Selling Alternative Masks on Amazon
Chaaban, Omar Mansoor
This item will be available on: 2024-05-01
The purpose of this study is to assess the filtration efficiency of different face covering materials in comparison to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved N95 respirator. This investigation is significant because public health was jeopardized when COVID-19 spread through the United States. Healthcare professionals and the public depend on respirators to prevent disease transmission. Unfortunately, data regarding filter efficiency for unapproved masks were not available to assist in decision-making. Therefore, healthcare professionals and the public used limited resources for virus protection. This project will use an aerosol generation method that produces particulates that simulate SARS-CoV-2 particles to identify which alternative fabrics can efficiently filter infectious aerosols. We hypothesize that the public is not using adequate respiratory protection from SARS-CoV-2 compared to the N95 respirator. To test this hypothesis, we determined what masks the public is wearing by searching the top 10 best-selling adult masks from the largest online retailer in the United States (Amazon.com) and determining their filtration efficiency. We will measure the filter efficiency of different masks by following the standard testing procedures developed by NIOSH. First, aerosol will be generated using a 2% NaCl solution to replicate infectious respiratory droplets. Next, the temperature and relative humidity of the generated particles will be set at 25 ± 5 °C and 30 ± 10%, respectively. The particle size distribution of the generated aerosol must have a count median diameter of 0.075 ± 0.020 micrometers. Finally, the single respirator filter will be tested in a customized chamber at a system flow rate of 85 ± 4 LPM. The filter efficiency will be calculated by measuring the aerosol size distribution of the upstream and downstream salt concentrations generated to challenge the filter. The efficiency will represent the filter's effectiveness to prevent particle penetration through the respirator. This work will build on our current research project, where we have tested a NIOSH-approved N95 filter in the Aerosol Research laboratory at ECU, resulting in an efficiency of 97%. The outcome for the top 10 best-selling adult masks will be presented as results.
Chaaban, Omar Mansoor. (May 2022). Measuring the Filtration Efficiency of the Best-Selling Alternative Masks on Amazon (Honors Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/10863.)
Chaaban, Omar Mansoor. Measuring the Filtration Efficiency of the Best-Selling Alternative Masks on Amazon. Honors Thesis. East Carolina University, May 2022. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/10863. February 02, 2023.
Chaaban, Omar Mansoor, “Measuring the Filtration Efficiency of the Best-Selling Alternative Masks on Amazon” (Honors Thesis., East Carolina University, May 2022).
Chaaban, Omar Mansoor. Measuring the Filtration Efficiency of the Best-Selling Alternative Masks on Amazon [Honors Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; May 2022.
East Carolina University