NEWS RELEASE December 2020
The Pandemic is Like a Football Game Where the Head Covering is a Life and Death Decision
Most of the regulations now require wearing of masks. But this is like saying every football player must wear a head covering. The difference is that the risk of death is much greater by wearing a less protective mask than it is a less protective helmet. It is therefore of highest importance to wear an efficient tight fitting mask.
ASTM is taking a big first step by preparing to create standards based on 20% and 50% efficiency. These proposed standards communicate the important parameters and the methods by which the level of protection is achieved. This work and the ASTM 50 rating can be used for what might be called the ASTM 50 plus rating. One of the plus ratings would be CATER 95. It would use all the tools and protocols set up by ASTM but be able to demonstrate not only the high efficiency but also the tight fit with various face sizes.
CDC could provide information on reliable fit testing procedures for public masks. They can include use of the same qualitative and quantitative fit testing technologies required for industrial and medical use. But they would also provide advice on frequency of testing and generic testing by mask size.
CATER mask suppliers with five different mask sizes are in a better position to provide low leakage masks than are suppliers with just two sizes. At one level suppliers should provide leakage results through detailed testing of each different size mask when applied to appropriate face sizes. This should include talking, walking, bending etc. (Practical Performance Tests on sample test subjects).
Most masks are worn in such a manner that air leakage is as much as 40% of the total exhaled. The biggest challenge will be to create a system which keeps leakage below 10%. If both emitter and recipient have leakage limited to 10 % the net virus transmission is only 1%. Rating of net efficiency (capture efficiency less leakage) will be useful. There are CATER 95 masks with 95% efficiency and an average of 4% leakage for a net efficiency of 91%.
The concept of CATER 95 bubbles is being proposed. If everyone entering this bubble has a CATER 95 or better mask then the school, fitness center, or office building in the bubble could operate normally.
It is proposed that fit testing for the public be accomplished by one of the following
- Existing industrial fit testing services with mobile vans or on site measurement capabilities
- New groups of fit testers such as physical therapists at fitness centers
- Retail stores who can sell masks and provide fitness testing and advice
- Schools and large institutions
- Local fit testing centers (could be the fitness center or retail store)
It is further proposed that there be limitation of entry to the bubble based on some sort of proof (if only visual) that the individual is wearing a properly fitted CATER 95 mask.
In the Alert yesterday we provided details on the fitness centers and how they could reopen and even generate extra revenue from fit testing. We are forecasting that CATER Mask sales will be greater than gym shoes, hoodies, or for that matter any other clothing item.
So the department store with a shoe section to help customers obtain the right shoes could generate more revenues by helping people choose the right mask.
The background information with information on standards, performance of masks, media, and coatings is supplied in Click here