Addressing the worldwide shortages of face masks

  • Ji D
  • Fan L
  • Li X
  • et al.
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The year 2020 will be punctuated by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the history of human civilization. Within four months, COVID-19 has become a public healthcare crisis in all nations around the world. Until a suitable vaccine is found and made widely available, the immediate solutions to protect individuals and to control the spread of the pandemic include wearing a face mask, maintaining personal hygiene, and social distancing. Certified face masks have become national essentials, and countries have imposed restrictions on exports, which has increased the worldwide shortages of masks and raw materials. This situation has also led to confusion and misinformation about face masks. This paper aims to provide quality information on face masks to alleviate the shortages. Disinfecting used masks and making homemade masks are discussed as emergency solutions. The development and manufacture of innovative masks (such as reusable masks, antivirus masks, and degradable masks) have become essential needs of society and involve both opportunities and challenges during this unprecedented time. In this prospective study, we provide the definitions, basic requirements, materials, possible preparation methods, and challenges of these innovative masks and highlight their important role in preventing epidemics similar to COVID-19.




Ji, D., Fan, L., Li, X., & Ramakrishna, S. (2020). Addressing the worldwide shortages of face masks. BMC Materials, 2(1).

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