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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 89-92  

Use of five-layered Adi's cotton face masks with a filter and its commercial application during and after COVID-19


1 Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine; Director Labdhi Simulation Centre, Smt. BK Shah Medical Institute and Research Centre, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
2 Associate Professor, Departments of Orthopaedics, Smt. BK Shah Medical Institute and Research Centre, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
3 Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, Smt. BK Shah Medical Institute and Research Centre, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
4 Professor & Head, Department of Microbiology, Smt. BK Shah Medical Institute and Research Centre, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
5 Dean, Smt. BK Shah Medical Institute and Research Centre, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Date of Submission29-Mar-2021
Date of Decision31-May-2021
Date of Acceptance13-Jul-2021
Date of Web Publication08-Jan-2022

Correspondence Address:
Aditya Kuldeepkumar Agrawal
Department of Orthopaedics, Dhiraj Hospital, Smt BK Shah Medical Institute & Research Centre, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Waghodia, Vadodara 391760 Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_232_21

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  Abstract 


Introduction: COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has led to crisis in the supply of essential goods and services and personal protective equipments including face masks. Aim: The aim of the study is to compare Adi's five-layered cotton face masks with N95 masks and surgical face masks with regard to cost and efficacy. Materials and Methods: After IEC approval, a sample size of 10 was randomly selected. In a closed chamber made up of glass, three plates of blood agar, chocolate agar, and MacConkey Agar (MCA) were kept and at four different times, first without mask (Group D), second with N95 mask (Group N), third with surgical mask (Group S), and finally with Adi's face mask (Group A). Participants at first coughed three times then sang for 3 min and finally spoke for 2 min for each group. Plates were observed for growth after 24 h. Inclusion Criteria: Age 18–40 years of either sex, with no comorbidities. Exclusion Criteria: Anyone having cough, cold, or fever. Results: Group A (Adi's face mask with filter) showed no growth all ten times, Group N (N95 Mask) showed no growth of colonies four times, and one colony growth six times. As far as Group D (Direct speech without mask) is concerned, it showed multiple colonies all ten times and Group S (Surgical mask) showed one colony growth all ten times. Conclusion: Adi's mask is almost equivalent to wearing an N95 mask. It is easy to use, innovative, simple, scientific, and cost-effective.

Keywords: Adi's face mask, cost-effective, N95 mask, surgical mask


How to cite this article:
Agrawal A, Agrawal AK, Vasava S, Lakhani SJ, Golwala P. Use of five-layered Adi's cotton face masks with a filter and its commercial application during and after COVID-19. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2022;15, Suppl S1:89-92

How to cite this URL:
Agrawal A, Agrawal AK, Vasava S, Lakhani SJ, Golwala P. Use of five-layered Adi's cotton face masks with a filter and its commercial application during and after COVID-19. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 28];15, Suppl S1:89-92. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2022/15/7/89/335329




  Introduction Top


Face masks are used since time immemorial. Face masks are used for household purposes, especially in kitchen and laundry areas by all housekeeping staff and canteen workers. Medical face masks are also used for professional use, especially by health-care professionals, chefs, and traffic policemen.[1] Medical masks are used by operating surgeons, anesthesiologists, pathologists, radiologists, ambulance staff, mortuary staff, pharmacy staff, intensivists, administrative staff, nurses, and housekeeping staff working in operation theaters, laboratories, and intensive care units. The purpose of face masks is to prevent transmission of obnoxious odors, virulent air droplets, pathogens, and bacteria.[2] In the market, we have various masks available for household and professional usage. It varies from simple cloth face mask to triple-layered plastic mask to five-layered N 95 mask.

COVID 19 is a global pandemic that has crippled the world. It has slowly but surely spread from December 2019 to almost 178 countries around the world across all continents sparing no human being on this planet. It has brought the world to an economic standstill with an uncertain future. The human lives lost daily are insurmountable and widespread. It has affected all from rags to riches, from common man to most powerful man on the earth. This has led to a crisis in supply of essential goods and services, personal protective equipment, surgical face masks, and disposable gowns.[3] Hence, we decided to perform this study to find an alternative/equivalent of an N95 mask.

The aim of the study is to compare Adi's five-layered cotton face mask with N95 mask and surgical mask with regard to cost and efficacy.


  Materials and Methods Top


After the approval from IEC, the study was done in the Department of Orthopedics and Microbiology. The study is registered with CTRI REF/2021/02/040669. The Adi's five-layered cotton face mask is made primarily by four folds of a gent's large size 15” × 6” handkerchief. The four straps on the sides of the rectangular face mask are also made of cotton fabric. There are two layers in the front and one layer in the back stitched on all sides except one on the right side. In between, we can put a double-layered folded tissue paper, HEPA filter, or poly-microurathene sponge material between the second and third layers of the mask. The impervious material is inserted from the right side of the handkerchief. The nose pin can be made of either plastic or metal wires folded by sides to avoid damage to the mask. The nose pin is inserted on the top part of the fabric mask. The strings on four sides of the mask are also made of cotton straps for typing comfortably at the back of the head and neck. The mask is pleated in three by sewing by the sides of the first layer of cotton fabric. The mask can be reused after discarding the sponge or tissue paper. New tissue paper or microurethane foam can be reinserted after washing the face mask with a simple disinfectant, bleaching powder, or sodium hypochlorite. It can also be autoclaved or treated with ethylene dioxide or gamma irradiation [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Preparation of Adi's face mask using a cotton handkerchief with tissue paper as filter inside the stitched folds and threads on all four sides

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To check the efficacy of our innovative face mask, we randomly selected ten people for the study.

Participants of age 18–40 years with no comorbidities were included in this study, whereas participants who were not willing for the study or anyone having cough, cold, or fever were excluded from the study.

Study was divided into four groups

  • Without mask (Group D) (n = 10)
  • With N95 mask (Group N) (n = 10),
  • With surgical mask (Group S) (n = 10) and
  • With Adi's face mask (group A) (n = 10).


Each participant was subjected to all four groups. The participant was asked to cough thrice, sing for 3 min and speak for 2 min in the glass chamber with agar plates. The glass cabinet was closed and the air was exhausted from the chamber for 5–10 min by means of the sampler pump, to remove any environment contamination. Subsequently, the subject then inserted his head into the chamber, and distinctly coughed thrice, sang for 3 min, and spoke for 2 min. A timer was kept for recording time. Air sampling was then continued without further disturbance for 4 min after talking was terminated. Samples were collected on blood agar (BA), chocolate agar, and MacConkeys agar. The growth of the microorganisms with culture was collected and data were analyzed by SPSS version 11 (Chicago, Illinois, USA) and P < 0.5 was considered statistically significant.

The ultramicroscopic analysis of Adi's cotton fabric face mask was done, as shown in [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Ultramicroscopic structure of Adi's face mask

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  Results Top


In Group A, one pink pinpoint colony was seen on MacConkey Agar (Mac). Pinpoint colonies were seen on BA, Chocolate Agar (Choc A), and MacConkey Agar (Mac) for Group N (N95 mask), as shown in [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Pinpoint colonies on blood agar, chocolate agar, and MacConkey Agar (Mac) for Group N (N95 mask) (original)

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Multiple colonies on BA, Choc A, MacConkey Agar (Mac) for Group D (Direct speech without mask) as shown in [Figure 4]. The graph in [Figure 5] shows no growth and one colony growth for Group A (Adi's Face mask), Group S (Surgical mask), and Group N (N95 mask), whereas it shows two and more colonies for Group D (Direct speech without mask).
Figure 4: Multiple colonies on blood agar, chocolate agar, and MacConkey Agar (MAC) for Group D (Direct speech without mask) (original)

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Figure 5: Graph showing no growth and one colony growth for Group A (Adi's Face mask), Group S (Surgical mask), and Group N (N95 mask), while two and more colonies for Group D (Direct speech without mask) (original)

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In total, Group A (Adi's cotton Face mask with filter) showed no growth all ten times, Group N (N95 Mask) showed no growth of colonies four times, and one colony growth six times. As far as Group D (Direct speech without mask) is concerned, it showed one colony and two colony growth five times each. Finally, Group S (Surgical mask) showed one colony growth all ten times. This is illustrated in [Table 1].
Table 1: The growth of bacterial colonies in different agar mediums for various groups. (original)

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  Discussion Top


Face masks reduce aerosol exposure by a combination of the filtering action of the fabric and the seal between the mask and the face.[1] The filtration efficiency of the fabric depends on a variety of factors: the structure and composition of the fabric, and the size, velocity, shape, and physical properties of the particles to which it is exposed. Although any material may provide a physical barrier to an infection, if as a mask, it does not fit well around the nose and mouth, or the material freely allows infectious aerosols to pass through it, then it will be of no benefit.[1]

The size of coronavirus is found to be 0.06–0.14 um, whereas the pore size of various masks ranges from 80 um to 500 um. This is much bigger than the particulate matter 2.5 um. It is because of five layers along with the microurethane filter that increase the efficacy of Adi's face mask to prevent the oropharyngeal entry of the virus. Adi's face mask is made up of cotton handkerchief. It can be customized to various designs in the market and commercialized easily. Furthermore, it is washable and reusable. Even the filter of microurethane foam or simple tissue paper can be used for repeated number of times. This can be widely acceptable to people during multiple waveforms of variants of coronavirus. It also covers the ears and skin around the chin and cheek which helps to prevent entry of virus through skin contamination around the face. It is accompanied by cotton strings which can be tied to the neck behind. This prevents awful pain around the earlobes due to elastic strings in the conventional masks.

Critical studies of mask efficiency which employed artificial aerosols yielded valuable information about the filtering capacity of masks but did not simulate the normal orally expelled microflora and the saliva droplets in which they are incorporated. Consequently, most of the mask efficiency ratings which are available in the literature are not directly related to actual practical conditions.[2]

In the presence of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, all doctors in general practice or specialty outpatient clinics must wear a mask at all times when they see patients. A surgical mask is recommended for the doctor, nurse, and all other paramedics, including the receptionist in the clinic.[3]

Five fast ways to kill a virus are to irradiate it, fumigate it, heat it in hot water, steam it, or bake it. Each of these approaches seems to be effective, but that is not the only criterion for a successful decontamination. It is also important for masks to come out of the decontamination process as good as new.[4],[5]


  Conclusion Top


Adi's face mask with filter is easy to use, innovative, simple, scientific, and cost-effective. A protective mask may reduce the likelihood of infection, but it will not eliminate the risk, particularly when a disease has more than 1 route of transmission. Thus, any mask, no matter how efficient at filtration or how good the seal, will have minimal effect if it is not used in conjunction with other preventative measures, such as isolation of infected cases, immunization, good respiratory etiquette, and regular hand hygiene.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Feng S, Shen C, Xia N, Song W, Fan M, Cowling BJ. Rational use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic. Lancet Respir Med 2020;8:434-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Lai CK, Poon CK, Cheung CT. Effectiveness of facemasks to reduce exposure hazards for airborne infections among general populations. J R Soc Interface 2012;9:938-48.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Livingston E, Desai A, Berkwits M. Sourcing personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA 2020;323:1912-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Smith JD, MacDougall CC, Johnstone J, Copes RA, Schwartz B, Garber GE. Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks in protecting health care workers from acute respiratory infection: A systematic review and meta-analysis. CMAJ 2016;188:567-74.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Radonovich LJ Jr., Simberkoff MS, Bessesen MT, Brown AC, Cummings DA, Gaydos CA, et al. N95 respirators vs. medical masks for preventing influenza among health care personnel: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2019;322:824-33.  Back to cited text no. 5
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1]



 

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