Face masks put to the test

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 12:55 PM CDT
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Now that face masks are a requirement in a lot of places while out in public, many want to know which mask is the most effective.

Experts at the University of Arkansas Little Rock put four kinds of masks to the test.

In the experiment a person coughed into a petri dish while wearing an N-95 mask, a disposable surgical mask, a cloth mask and a neck gaiter.

The participant also coughed into the dish without wearing anything at all to show the difference between wearing a mask and no mask at all.

Doctor Nawab Ali, a Microbiology Professor at the University of Arkansas Little Rock said the goal was to have no bacteria growth in the dishes.

”My expectation was that all of the masks would prevent,” said Ali.

Seventy-two hours later, the results were in and in the dish you can see small spots on some of the dishes, and the no mask sample had the most growth.

The N-95, cloth and neck gaiter had none, but the surgical mask actually had a little bit of growth on two of the dishes.

Doctor Ali said this surprised him a little. But even still, Ali says a mask is better than no mask at all.

"This does show masks prevent bacteria coming out of your mouth when you cough," he said.

Experts say it is crucial that everyone follow the mask mandates to help slow the spread of the virus.

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