How durable are surgical face masks?

© 2022 EPFL LPAC

© 2022 EPFL LPAC

A new study on the durability of face masks involving LPAC researchers was published in Nature’s Scientific Reports

In a collaboration with other Swiss institutes, Vincent Varanges, Baris Caglar, Yann Lebaupin and prof. Véronique Michaud from LPAC have studied the durability of surgical face masks which are now commonly used by the public against the COVID-19 pandemic. They simulated the influence of folding, washing, saliva and sweat on their performance. Their study showed that the masks filtration efficiency was strongly correlated to electrostatic potential, and mostly affected by their washing.

The full study is now published, and can be read in Nature’s Scientific Reports.


Varanges, V., Caglar, B., Lebaupin, Y. et al. On the durability of surgical masks after simulated handling and wear. Sci Rep 12, 4938 (2022).