Masks With Valves, Face Shields Can’t Stop COVID-19 Spread: Study

Plastic face shields and masks with valves allow cough droplets to pass through.

Sohil Nikam

September 3, 2020

Trending News

2 min


Masks with valves and face shields can’t prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a study by researchers at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton. The researchers used laser light and a mixture of distilled water and glycerin to generate synthetic fog that simulates cough droplets. Using an N95 rated mask and a plastic face shield, they were able to trace the path of the droplets emerging from a mannequin’s mouth. To put it simply, enough droplets escape through the valves of the mask and the open portions of the face shields to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Regular face masks are hence the best way to way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when in contact with other people. Manhar Dhanak, Department Chair, Professor and Director of SeaTech at FAU, said, “From this latest study, we were able to observe that face shields are able to block the initial forward motion of the exhaled jet, however, aerosolized droplets expelled with the jet are able to move around the visor with relative ease. Over time, these droplets can disperse over a wide area in both lateral and longitudinal directions, albeit with decreasing droplet concentration.”

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