Cloth facemask

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A simple cloth facemask
During the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919, a man is not allowed on a tram because he does not wear a mask.

A cloth facemask is a mask, which is used to cover mouth and nose. As the name suggests, these masks are made of textiles. Cotton is commonly used. Starting with the 19th century, such masks have been used by healthcare professionals. The are also used to protect against air pollution.

Depending on the design, they can be effective stopping the transmission of disease spread by droplets of liquid. Today, healthcare professionals often use surgical masks or respirators, which offer a better protection. Studies done in 2010 and 2015 found that 40 to 90 percent of particles pass through a cloth facemask.