According to the FDA, face masks must be able to filter out particles and still be easy to breathe through.

The FDA said this in a press release it issued to the public following directives from President Nana Akufo Addo, seeking Ghanaians to use face masks as a means of protection from the pandemic coronavirus.

The statement said, “In the absence of propylene, which is the common material used for medical-grade face masks, 100% cotton or cotton blends possess good material characteristics for homemade face masks. Recent studies/evaluations undertaken by the FDA on viable materials for the production”

The FDA further recommended that “Reusable homemade face masks should be properly washed before reuse. Used homemade face masks must first be disinfected; then washed with soap or detergent until clean, rinsed under running water; dried in the open sun, and ironed before reuse.”

Touching on the fabric to be used, the FDA said fabric used for face masks should be free from all chemicals.

Below is the full specifications:

SPECIFICATIONS

i. Dimensions

• Length: Cheek-to-cheek: 10 inches

• Width: 6 inches

• Thickness: Three layers: Not Less Than (NLT) 0.759mm

• Porosity: ≥10000 Pascal

ii. Splash Test (Alcohol-based aerosol spray): No stain of alcohol-based aerosol should be seen at the reverse side of the face mask

iii. Filtration of Bacteria: Reduction of NLT 3 log.

SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HOMEMADE FACE MASKS

Fabric and Design

•It is recommended that fabric used for face mask should be free from all chemicals.

•In any event that printed fabric is used, the layer of the fabric in direct contact with the face should be a plain fabric that is free from chemicals.

Fabric/Material Combinations

To be effective, face masks generally must be able to filter out particles and still be easy to breathe through. In the absence of propylene, which is the common material used for medical-grade face masks, 100% cotton or cotton blends possess good material characteristics for homemade face masks. Recent studies/evaluations undertaken by the FDA on viable materials for the production following: of effective homemade face masks from local fabrics/materials established the

1. Calico-Stiff (Hard/Medium)-Calico (three layers) combination is ideal for a reusable homemade COVID-19 face mask.

2. Calico-Calico-Calico (three layers) combination is ideal for a reusable homemade COVID-19 face mask.

Cleaning of Homemade Face Masks

Reusable homemade face masks should be properly washed before reuse. Used homemade face masks must first be disinfected; then washed with soap or detergent until clean, rinsed under running water; dried in the open sun, and ironed before reuse.

They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use or when saturated from condensation build-up from breathing, or after a contamination event.

**Provide identification tags on the face masks, including the FDA Registration Number.