The problem I propose to be a part of solving is the current worldwide shortage of face masks available to the general public and the limited supply of face masks available to health care workers. Currently here in the Niagara Region of Ontario our Nurses are allotted one mask for a 12 hr shift and we now have outbreaks in several Senior's homes and healthcare workers are requesting masks not only for themselves but for the residents and there are none available through their employer or to buy in stores. Further to the problem there are many people making homemade masks using different designs and materials that have not been tested for filtration efficiency and healthcare workers are using those homemade masks with a 'better than nothing' attitude, adding to concern of healthcare workers becoming infected. Both homemade masks and the allotted N95 masks are being reused and it is up to the healthcare workers to be responsible for the sterilization of these masks after long and stressful shifts.
The solution to the above described problem would be to have a readily available and affordable supply of single use face masks for all of our doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and any of the general public who need them.
This is a simple, easy to make, design for a single use no-sew 4ply NWPP (non-woven polypropylene) face mask that is made from a single 15" by 15" sheet of sterilization wrap. The design requires very little tools, only scissors, stapler and a glue gun and can easily be made with very little training and by manual labour, assembly line style.
As there is an increasing shortage of protective equipment, including face masks, worldwide, it is becoming hard and expensive for people to acquire them, and as a result many are being re-used, so I wanted to develop an effective solution that could be made inexpensively, with very little equipment needed (no-sewing), and from items that are usually readily available. I would expect to immediately be able to address the local shortage, especially within the healthcare and longterm care communities of disposable protective face masks but would also expect to be able to distribute this method worldwide for quick and easy production of masks in the event of a worldwide shortage of N95 masks. This is a very lightweight and comfortable mask that can be folded up to a very compact size for ease of storage and shipping.