Computer Calculated Protections of Double-Layer Masks


Japanese scientists used a supercomputer to calculate whether wearing a double-layer mask, a method used for greater protection, actually provides more protection.

Since the coronavirus epidemic has turned our lives upside down, almost all of us have been keeping our masks in our mouth. However, some people who do not want to leave the measure, want to be more protected from the virus by wearing a double layer of masks. So, does it really provide more protection to wear two masks instead of one?

The study, carried out by scientists from Japan’s Riken and Kobe Universities, revealed striking data on wearing a double-layer mask. According to the information obtained, wearing a double-layer mask does indeed reduce the possibility of transmission of the virus, but at a much lesser rate than expected.

Using a single layer of mask provides 85 percent protection

In the study, where the supercomputer called Fugaku in Japan is used to model the flow of viruses in different types and combinations of masks, it was revealed that wearing two layers of masks provides only 4 percent more protection against the virus. This is quite a low rate considering the breathing difficulty brought about by the second mask.

According to the research, 85 percent protection is provided when a single mask made of non-woven material is used, while the protection rate increases to 89 percent when another mask is worn on it. Moreover, the second mask greatly increases air resistance, causing more air leakage from the sides of the mask and reducing functionality.

The researchers, who led the study under the leadership of Makoto Tsubokura, concluded in the article in which they shared their results, that the use of double-layer masks did not increase the protective performance. In addition, according to the research, the most effective masks against coronavirus were N95 masks, the most talked about mask type since the beginning of the epidemic.


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