Open Letter Calls on Dr. Theresa Tam and PHAC to Amend Misleading New Guidelines for 3-Ply Masks
Suggestion to use filtering material made from reusable shopping bags not appropriate
OAKVILLE, ON, Nov. 9, 2020 /CNW/ - National supplier of safety and respiratory products, Levitt-Safety, is concerned that that newly updated wording on the Government of Canada website and as communicated by Dr. Theresa Tam and the Public Health Agency of Canada earlier this week is misleading. The wording may not be specific enough in terms of what is needed for the filtering layer of masks to ensure they are effective.
In an open letter posted November 6th to the company website, President Bruce Levitt clarified, "Medical masks and respirators are typically made using two very different types of polypropylene that serve different functions:
- The inner and outer layer are made from spunbond polypropylene – the same type of material used in some shopping bags, disposable clothing etc.
- The middle layer is made from specific grades of meltblown polypropylene – a completely different product and manufacturing process
The inner and outer layer of mask material are not designed to filter aerosols – they provide droplet protection, prevent the mask filter from getting soiled and provide physical integrity to the overall mask. The filtration is achieved primarily using the middle meltblown layer."
The Government of Canada's website currently suggests that appropriate filtering material includes "the non-woven fabric that's used to make some reusable shopping bags". That material is spunbond polypropylene. It is simply not effective as a filter for aerosols." The full letter can be viewed here.
Levitt-Safety was clear to express that the company supports the Public Health Agency of Canada's move to three-layer masks, in fact, they have suspended all promotion of two-ply masks to their customers, which include mines, hospitals and large manufacturing facilities across Canada. However, the company emphasizes that it is critical that Canadian public be provided with the right information to ensure they understand how to be adequately protected based the Agency's recommendations, and currently the guidance is misleading.
As COVID-19 cases rise across the country and around the world, it is more important now than ever to ensure Canadians are given the most accurate information so they can make the best decisions to stay safe.
SOURCE Levitt-Safety Ltd.