Thursday, 29 Oct 2020

Plastic face shields DON’T work: Study exposes flaws in protecting against coronavirus

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Plastic face shields have been recommended by industry experts to wear alongside face masks as protection during the COVID pandemic. Hairdressers, barbers, nail technicians and tattooists have been advised to wear them alongside a face mask.

Doctors, nurses and other hospital workers on the frontline also wear face visors but with the addition of a fitted surgical mask.

But now, a computer simulation has revealed almost 100 percent of airborne droplets smaller than five micrometres in size can escape through the plastic visor when talking and breathing.

Worryingly, half of larger droplets given off by coughs and sneezes can also escape into the air, posing a risk to others and potentially spreading the virus.
This means solely wearing plastic face shields would not offer vital protection from coronavirus.

Makoto Tsubokura, team leader of the study carried out by the Riken Centre in Japan, told the Guardian: “Judging from the results of the simulation, unfortunately, the effectiveness of face guards in preventing droplets from spreading from an infected person’s mouth is limited compared with masks.

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