First biogradable N95 Corona mask

Researchers at the BioProducts Institute at the University of British Columbia (UBC) say they have developed the (possibly) first-ever N95 mask that is fully compostable and biodegradable. The idea was to make a mask from local materials that should be easy to produce and not expensive, with the added benefit of being compostable and biodegradable. According to UBC, the new mask – the Canadian-Mask or Can-Mask – meets all those conditions.

The mask frame is made entirely of British-Colombian wood fibres from trees such as pine, spruce, cedars and other coniferous wood. There are two prototypes. One prototype uses a commercial N95 filter on the front of the mask, the other uses a specially designed filter of wood-based products by the UBC team. Both prototypes are currently being tested to ensure they meet the health industry’s specifications in terms of fit and permeability. The aim is to apply for a so-called Health Canada certification in the near future.

The researchers think that the mask is a good alternative to the synthetic masks that are currently in use. With millions of disposable masks and gloves already polluting the sidewalks of cities and possibly ending up in rivers and oceans, there is an urgent need for biodegradable protection products, the researchers find.

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