Women are making coronavirus face masks out of their bras, but experts warn masks won’t necessarily stop you from catching the virus

Some women are making face masks out of their bras.

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Some women are making face masks out of their bras.
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Facebook/Il bello delle donne

Some women are making face masks out of their bras in a bid to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

However, not only is a bra unlikely to have the same protective qualities as a surgical mask, experts stress that masks of any kind aren’t necessarily going to stop you catching the virus.

The idea of making a DIY face mask out of a bra isn’t new – AP reported a woman named Dr Elena Bodnar in Chicago doing so in 2015.

It’s unclear how the trend was reignited (the Daily Mail reported that Chinese citizens were spotted wearing bra face masks in January this year), but videos and tutorials instructing others how to make the masks have been circulating on social media recently.

The trend could possibly have gained attention because people are struggling to get their hands on official medical masks.

The videos and tweets have led women with large breasts to joke that if they were to try it, their bra would cover their whole face as opposed to just the mouth and nose.

A woman named Ciara Frazier documented her attempt to make a bra mask on Facebook, and her post swiftly went viral.

“On YouTube watching this woman make face mask with her bra for Coronavirus so I decided I was going to make some with my old bras I can’t see and I can’t breathe,” she wrote.

Her post has now been shared over 200,000 times, with many people expressing their amusement.

Frazier isn’t the only one.

“Good to know I walk around with TWO OF MY FACES on my chest everyday,” Blake DeRossette wrote on Twitter.

Some people even joked that they could fit multiple people in each cup.

Given the coronavirus has now reached pandemic status, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many people are searching for preventative measures.

However, while respirators can “help reduce wearers’ exposures to airborne particulate hazards,” it’s unknown whether a bra would have the same protective properties.

“Respirators contain filter material and are designed to form a seal with the wearer’s face, so that air passes through the filter (instead of around the edges) before it is inhaled,” according to a fact sheet from 3M.

Experts have also told Business Insider that all masks – even non-bra ones – aren’t as effective as you might think.

“There’s little harm in it,” Eric Toner, a scientist at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told Business Insider’s Holly Secon. “But it’s not likely to be very effective in preventing it.”

However there are people who can benefit from wearing masks.

Business Insider’s Anna Medaris Miller, Hilary Brueck, and Shayanne Gal explained who needs a mask to help limit the spread of the coronavirus, and which type they should wear.

Read more:

People are racing to buy face masks amid the coronavirus outbreak, but they probably won’t protect you from illness

All the different types of face masks, and who should wear them during the coronavirus outbreak

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