Note: this is information only. Nothing on this website constitutes a warranty of any kind. We know that experts believe homemade masks are not ideal, and less effective than N95, right now there is a shortage and we are asking to make masks.
The CDC includes on their website: "“In settings where facemasks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort.” Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks: COVID-19, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/face-masks.html, last accessed Mar. 20, 2020.
The information provided is to help the public with the requests from our medical community. Nothing in this is medical or legal advice.
WHAT ARE N95 MASKS?
Typical masks that are used for health care professionals in the Covid-19 crisis are N95 respirator masks. These FDA approved masks are used to filter at least 95% of particles. N95 masks have specialized requirements for fabric and fit, which are hard to replicate without proper machinery and testing to confirm the 95% filtration. Because of the number of cases that have occurred in the US, many of the N95 approved masks are in a massive shortage. Surgical masks have been used inside of hospitals as a last resort measure where supplies are being depleted. These surgical masks have become scarce as well. As a last attempt to protection, hospitals have been calling on individuals and their own workers to construct masks.
The CDC is now “loosening” the guidelines to allow use of masks in healthcare facilities that are designed similarly to surgical masks. These respiratory masks can be constructed using:
100% cotton fabric, double layered. A recommendation by the CDC is to use a Hanes Heavyweight 100% preshrunk cotton T-shirt, if you have it on hand.
Two elastic bands
*The CDC also advises to boil the fabric for 10 minutes ensuring sterilization.
Found at: Dato, V. M., Hostler, D., & Hahn, M. E. (2006). Simple Respiratory Mask. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 12(6), 1033-1034.
MASK IDEAS, GROUPS TO JOIN, BLOGGERS:
A step-by-step tutorial for constructing the face masks is listed below:
The group below has a variety of different users who have submitted both designs that can be made through traditional sewing techniques and 3-D printers for those who have access:
SUGGESTIONS ON FABRIC
The blogger below has listed suggestions for fabrics, elastic material only based on opinion and not on tests or experimental design.
FREE DESIGN PAGE
A blog dedicated to creating a specific free design to create face masks: