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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Are copper masks safer? Our VERIFY team talked to the experts

The doctors agreed that any mask is better than none.

INDIANAPOLIS — A viewer emailed us asking us to look into claims that certain masks are better than others - including copper masks.

We checked with Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

"There are no data that any of these variant masks are better than others," he said.

Dr. Cole Beeler, infectious disease specialist at IU Health, agreed.

"I am unaware of any study that proves dominance of one cloth mask over another. In my opinion anything is better than nothing," he said.

While we can't verify that copper (or any metal) infused masks are better than others, we can verify that copper has been proven to kill germs.

In the New England Journal of Medicine, a group of researchers announced this year that they found the virus lasted only a few hours on copper, compared to other kinds of surfaces.

But Schaffner said that doesn't necessarily mean a copper mask is more effective.

"That's the big question. And for that, we don't have an answer because we don't have clinical trials studying people who wear copper infused masks with those who don't. So given that there are no data in real life, that's why the public health authorities are not recommending one mask over another," Schaffner said.

Both Schaffner and Beeler said any mask is better than no mask.

"Wear the mask!" exclaimed Schaffner. "That's the important thing. I worry less about which mask you use."