Health Shield Fact Sheet
- A study in 2015 found that 97% of particles penetrated cloth face masks, and 44% of particles penetrated traditional medical-grade face masks1.
- A study found that health shields blocked 96% of respiratory droplets at a distance of 18”2.
- Many experts are promoting the use of face shields over masks to help curb the spread of COVID-193.
- A systematic review shows that cloth and paper face masks do not decrease transmission of influenza4. This may me be due to cross-contamination of wearers touching their faces.
- There is concern that masks and gloves may provide a false sense of security and actually promote self-inoculation via cross-contamination by touching the face5,6.
- People touch their faces, on average, 15-23 times per hour7,8.
- Physicians and healthcare staff well-versed in the importance of not touching their faces do so with similar frequency9.
- Masks also collect moisture with prolonged wearing and may even promote transmission of the novel coronavirus10.
- A study testing adherence in schools to face mask use during a possible pandemic found 15% of students wore masks after 2 weeks11.
- “Teachers reported that facemask use produced distraction and physical discomfort and made it difficult for students and teachers to read each other’s facial expressions.’’
1MacIntyre, C. R., Seale, H., Dung, T. C., Hien, N. T., Nga, P. T., Chughtai, A. A., … & Wang, Q. (2015). A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers. BMJ open, 5(4), e006577.
2Lindsley, W. G., Noti, J. D., Blachere, F. M., Szalajda, J. V., & Beezhold, D. H. (2014). Efficacy of face shields against cough aerosol droplets from a cough simulator. Journal of occupational and environmental hygiene, 11(8), 509-518.
3Perencevich, E. N., Diekema, D. J., & Edmond, M. B. (2020). Moving personal protective equipment into the community: face shields and containment of COVID-19. JAMA.
4Xiao, J., Shiu, E. Y., Gao, H., Wong, J. Y., Fong, M. W., Ryu, S., & Cowling, B. J. (2020). Nonpharmaceutical measures for pandemic influenza in nonhealthcare settings—personal protective and environmental measures. Emerging infectious diseases, 26(5), 967.
5Yadav, D. K., Shah, P. K., Shah, S. P., & Yadav, A. K. (2020). The Use of Disposable Gloves by General Public During COVID-19 Increases the Risk of Cross-Contamination. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, 1010539520932704.
6Lazzarino, A. I., Steptoe, A., Hamer, M., & Michie, S. (2020). Covid-19: Important potential side effects of wearing face masks that we should bear in mind. The BMJ, 369.
7Nicas M, Bestadh D. A study quantifying the hand-to-face contact rate and its potential application to predicting respiratory tract infection. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2008;5(6):347–52.
8Kwok YLA, Gralton J, McLaws ML. Face touching: A frequent habit that has implications for hand hygiene. Am J Infect Control [Internet]. 2015;43(2):112–4. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2014.10.015
9Elder, N. C., Sawyer, W., Pallerla, H., Khaja, S., & Blacker, M. (2014). Hand hygiene and face touching in family medicine offices: a Cincinnati Area Research and Improvement Group (CARInG) network study. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 27(3), 339-346.
10Perski, O., Simons, D., West, R., & Michie, S. (2020). Face masks to prevent community transmission of viral respiratory infections: A rapid evidence review using Bayesian analysis. Qeios.
11Allison, M. A., Guest?Warnick, G., Nelson, D., Pavia, A. T., Srivastava, R., Gesteland, P. H., … & Byington, C. L. (2010). Feasibility of elementary school children’s use of hand gel and facemasks during influenza season. Influenza and other respiratory viruses, 4(4), 223-229.