CHP met Buypod founders, Julian Mcdonald and Priti Odedra, to discuss how their reusable, eco-friendly, certified medical grade mask helps protect care home workers and patients from airborne infections such as COVID-19.
With so many masks available in the market what makes the Buypod mask different from the rest?
Firstly, they are respirator masks made from DartexTM – a safe, medical grade, airtight, waterproof material renowned for its protective qualities against fluid ingress but still allowing vapour release to maintain a healthy microclimate. It features a double-sided construction that ensures a soft hypoallergenic fabric surface against the skin as well as a wipe down polymer surface on the outside. Dartex, is washable, has a good degree of elasticity and is lightweight making it easy to carry and comfortable for prolonged use. It has dual filters that have exceeded the highest levels set with ISO 16890 for an easy-to-breathe, less claustrophobic and more comfortable feel. The mask is manufactured in the UK assuring availability and end-to-end quality assurance.
Who does it protect?
Many other masks reduce the spread of a virus by catching droplets when we speak, cough and breathe. The Buypod Reusable Dual Filtration Respirator does the same but is also an effective piece of personal protective equipment that prevents the wearer from inhaling aerosols (dust, smoke, mist) as well as vapours or gases (disinfectants, aesthetic gases) that are health hazards. They also protect the wearer from airborne infectious agents, i.e. against contamination by a virus such as coronavirus, SARS, H1N1, etc. Our mask offers protection for both the carer and the cared for.
How often do I have to change filters?
We recommend replacing the filters after a full day of protective wear (8 hours). If the mask is being used for short bursts, then we recommend you accumulate the time used and change the mask when this time (8 hours) has been reached. This makes the Buypod mask even more cost effective as a set of filters can last several days.
How long can I use the mask?
You can use the mask for many months or even years as long as you take care of it. Replacement parts can be purchased separately, and the filters should be replaced regularly to maintain the efficacy of the mask. This makes it ideal for long term usage, travel and extremely cost effective when compared to masks that offer similar efficacy.
Sounds great but expensive, what is the cost?
Some people compare a throwaway imported, uncertified £1 face cover with our purpose-built, highly effective, reusable, certified, made in the UK mask. This type of comparison is completely wrong and should not be made irrespective of cost. It also demonstrates the need for educating people who want to stay safe about purchasing the right mask for them.
We would advise not to be penny wise and pound foolish. An effective N95 mask would cost in the region of £5 to £15 each, which of course seems the cheaper option. However, these masks are disposable and would, therefore, cost the carer or care home around £300 per month per person. They do not exhibit any of the additional features of the Buypod mask, which is far superior and is a fraction of this cost.
Many experts say healthy and well people who want to protect others as well as themselves should wear a certified FFP2 or EPM1 compliant face mask. Although the FFP2 mask will filter out viruses and offer you a high level of protection, the masks are disposable (lifespan of 3 to 8 hours depending on environmental factors) and can also be very costly. This makes the EPM1 compliant Buypod Reusable Respirator Mask the mask of choice when choice matters. We all have the option of a face covering, but remember, these do not protect you. Instead, it will reduce how many droplets you breathe out and, therefore, protect people around you.
If everyone wore a face covering, the risk of spreading infectious contagions would be drastically reduced but due to the lack of people wearing masks and if we are to put the health of care home residents first, then we recommend that you protect yourself by wearing a Buypod mask in enclosed public spaces or when visiting vulnerable patients, friends and family. Reusable masks are also kinder to our planet.