Plastic Face Shields Don't Block Tiny Droplets: Study

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Plastic face shields do little to reduce the spread of tiny airborne droplets that can carry the new coronavirus, Japanese researchers report.

Their computer modeling showed that while such face shields can block the spread of some large droplets, they're unable to contain microscopic droplets that are produced by actions such as talking, singing or sneezing and believed to play a major role in the spread of the new coronavirus, The New York Times reported.

The shields, marketed as an alternative to face masks, may protect the wearer from droplets produced by other people, but are essentially ineffective at protecting others from the wearer's droplets, according to study author Makoto Tsubokura, a professor at Kobe University in Japan.

The team at the Riken Center for Computational Science also found that both handmade and manufactured face masks are far more effective at blocking tiny droplets than face shields, the Times reported.

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