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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


CHAVEZ-RUIZ, Manuel; RUEDA-TORRES, Lenin; RUFFNER-CAMARGO, Betsabé  and  BELLIDO-ACHAHUI, Cristofer. Methodology for evaluating the level of respiratory protection of masks and respirators against particles similar to those that transmit SARS-CoV-2. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2021, vol.38, n.3, pp.391-398.  Epub Sep 30, 2021. ISSN 1726-4634.


To develop a methodology for evaluating the level of respiratory protection provided by respirators, surgical masks and community face masks used by the Peruvian population; protection was evaluated against particles of a size similar to those containing active SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Materials and methods:

A direct linear relationship has been determined between the logarithm of the concentration of airborne particles and the elapsed time; thus, it is possible to compare the quantity of particles inside and outside of the mask or respirator in the same time period, as well as to obtain the percentage of respiratory protection for each evaluated sample.


A methodology was established to evaluate the level of respiratory protection against aerosols smaller than 5.0 μm. Also, the use of accessories such as rubber bands or adjusters behind the head and neck, and the use of robust nasal clips, significantly increased the level of respiratory protection against particles with a high probability of containing SARS-CoV-2.


We found concordance between the obtained respiratory protection values and those expected, considering the filtration level of the material used for each surgical mask or respirator, as well as the tightness. A significant increase in the levels of respiratory protection was observed.

Keywords : Respirator; Mask; Aerosols; SARS-CoV-2; Transmition; COVID-19; Pandemic; Respiratory Protection Devices; Filtration, Exposure Time (source: MeSH NLM)..

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