Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

USING SMART PHONES TO SELECT HOUSEHOLD FABRIC FOR MAKING FACE COVERINGS: A CASE STUDY BY FDA, NIST AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Published

Author(s)

Matthew E. Staymates

Abstract

Face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against the spread of airborne pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic [1]. These face coverings have been shown to reduce transmission of viral aerosol particles both in the laboratories as well as in clinical settings [2]. However, effectively testing these face coverings for filtration efficiency (FE) and breathability, as seen in most studies testing face coverings, require sophisticated aerosol instruments in the range of $10,000 - $100,000 or more. In addition, lack of consistency across techniques also precludes the user from making clear choices on fabrics they can use to make their own face coverings. Very few studies to date have offered simple, and cheap means of characterizing FE of fabrics [3, 4]. These studies, however, have still been conducted in controlled environments by experienced researchers. To our knowledge, no studies have been conducted in real world settings by non-experts for characterizing FE of fabrics. The objective of this study is to report a cost-friendly (< $1000) method to characterize the performance of household fabrics against viral droplets that can be accomplished using handheld cell phones and the expertise of sophomore-level high school students within a public school system and compare it to traditional quantitative particle counting techniques and semi-quantitative fog visualization system.
Proceedings Title
Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference
Conference Dates
June 20-23, 2022
Conference Location
Eastern Shore, MD, US

Keywords

flow visualization, masks, face covering, COVID-19

Citation

Staymates, M. (2022), USING SMART PHONES TO SELECT HOUSEHOLD FABRIC FOR MAKING FACE COVERINGS: A CASE STUDY BY FDA, NIST AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference, Eastern Shore, MD, US, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=934315 (Accessed April 13, 2024)
Created June 23, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022