Community Health Worker2021-02-11T09:30:39-05:00

Rethink Face Mask Filter

Designed with Community Health Workers (CHWs) in mind.


Community health workers (CHWs)
form an important part of the healthcare systems in many developing countries. Due to the nature of community health work and the associated risks of infection, the UNICEF/WHO/IFRC guidance for community care recommends PPE that includes medical masks for CHWs.[1]

The importance of protection and prevention

The importance of protection and prevention can never be overstated, which is why we are so passionate about providing the best protective gear available to all community healthcare workers. Those on the frontlines who will stop at nothing to help their fellow man and woman. We are behind you all the way.

We also believe nature shouldn’t pay the price for human disaster relief. We want the world as a whole to be safer as a result, which is why our emphasis is not only on protecting but also saving… lives, the ecosystem and always limited funds.

The importance of protection and prevention

The importance of protection and prevention can never be overstated, which is why we are so passionate about providing the best protective gear available to all community healthcare workers. Those on the frontlines who will stop at nothing to help their fellow man and woman. We are behind you all the way.

We also believe nature shouldn’t pay the price for human disaster relief. We want the world as a whole to be safer as a result, which is why our emphasis is not only on protecting but also saving… lives, the ecosystem and always limited funds.


Single-use masks create challenges


Single-use masks create challenges

The single-use nature of standard medical masks leads to many problems in general, but these are exacerbated in the context of CHWs and the Covid-19 pandemic. Huge quantities of masks need to be sourced and their sheer number presents challenges:

  • Multiple suppliers need to be identified and each one vetted to ensure that they have the necessary quality management systems in place.
  • There’s an oversupply of masks from some countries, but the quality of masks is uncertain. Most surgical masks look very similar, so it is difficult to distinguish high-quality masks from cheap imitations without having their filtration efficiency tested. The rapid growth in demand for such tests has also put severe strain on testing laboratories, leading to lead times of several weeks. Substandard masks do not have the required filtration efficiency and place CHWs and their patients in danger of infection.
  • Prices of masks have become very unpredictable. During the early months of the pandemic, prices for masks and other PPE saw staggering increases[2] of up to 1000%. After the coronavirus outbreak in China came under control, demand for masks subsided and sale of excess inventories and/or dumping of substandard products saw prices plummet. The second wave of infections currently seen in Europe is leading to a new increase in demand for masks. The net effect of these fluctuating market demands is that prices of masks are quite volatile and buyers have no way to correlate the price of masks to quality.
  • Shipping hundreds of millions of pieces of PPE from all over the world and then distributing them to hundreds of thousands of CHWs in rural areas of developing countries is a massive logistical challenge.[3]

Finally, even when CHWs are able to get sufficient quantities of high-quality medical masks, the single-use plastic nature of these masks leads to various environmental problems:

  • Multiple suppliers need to be identified and each one vetted to ensure that they have the necessary quality management systems in place.
  • There’s an oversupply of masks from some countries, but the quality of masks is uncertain. Most surgical masks look very similar, so it is difficult to distinguish high-quality masks from cheap imitations without having their filtration efficiency tested. The rapid growth in demand for such tests has also put severe strain on testing laboratories, leading to lead times of several weeks. Substandard masks do not have the required filtration efficiency and place CHWs and their patients in danger of infection.
  • Prices of masks have become very unpredictable. During the early months of the pandemic, prices for masks and other PPE saw staggering increases[2] of up to 1000%. After the coronavirus outbreak in China came under control, demand for masks subsided and sale of excess inventories and/or dumping of substandard products saw prices plummet. The second wave of infections currently seen in Europe is leading to a new increase in demand for masks. The net effect of these fluctuating market demands is that prices of masks are quite volatile and buyers have no way to correlate the price of masks to quality.
  • Shipping hundreds of millions of pieces of PPE from all over the world and then distributing them to hundreds of thousands of CHWs in rural areas of developing countries is a massive logistical challenge.[3]


Mask shortages force CHWs to make difficult choices

The net effect of these challenges is that shortages of masks and other PPE for CHWs often occur. When these shortages occur, CHWs are forced to make a difficult choice:

  • Work without masks, or
  • Reuse masks that are intended for single-use and either do or don’t disinfect such masks. Single-use masks cannot be effectively disinfected with water or alcohol as this reduces the charge on the fibers in the filter and thereby reduces their filter efficiency.
  • In either case, the risk of infection for the CHWs and their patients is substantially increased.


Single-use masks are leading to various
environmental problems

Finally, even when CHWs are able to get sufficient quantities of high-quality medical masks, the single-use plastic nature of these masks leads to various environmental problems:

  • It is estimated that 129 billion single-use face masks are being used per month in fighting the Covid-19[4] pandemic. This mind-boggling volume of single-use masks poses an extraordinary risk to the environment.[5] [6]
  • Used PPE should be handled as infectious waste, but CHWs frequently work in rural areas without the established systems for handling infectious waste. This poses contamination risks for waste handlers and waste pickers who make a living sorting through waste for recyclables.

Important Note: The reusability of nanofiber filter media is a significant differentiator from the filter media used in traditional single-use masks. In reaction to global PPE shortages, numerous systematic studies have been done on the extended use, re-use or reprocessing of single-use surgical masks.[7] The conclusion from all these reviews is that extended use and re-use of single-use surgical masks and respirators (with or without reprocessing) leads to diminished performance and should only be considered in situations of critical shortage.

Rethink Face Mask Filters – A more sustainable option

  • It consists of a filtering layer of tiny PVDF nanofibers with diameters smaller than 160 nanometers. This layer is created through a process called electrospinning with SNC’s[8] patented high-throughput ball-electrospinning technology (SNC BEST ®).
  • The nanofiber filter layer ensures that the mask has a particle (PFE) and bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) greater than 95%, whilst keeping the breathability very high (< 40 Pa/cm2), in line with European standard EN 14683.
  • The filter is equivalent to a Type I (≥ 95% BFE*) or Type II ( ≥ 98% BFE*) mask and is suitable for use in primary care settings where basic PPE protection of health workers and other social and relief workers is required. Note: Like other Type I or II surgical masks, these masks are not suitable for aerosol generating procedures.
  • The filter is manufactured in a clean manufacturing environment under ISO 13485 certified Good Manufacturing Practices for medical devices, and can be used right out of the package.
  • After the initial use, the filter can be disinfected with boiling hot water and reused 9 times.

Rethink Face Mask Filters – A more sustainable option

  • It consists of a filtering layer of tiny PVDF nanofibers with diameters smaller than 160 nanometers. This layer is created through a process called electrospinning with SNC’s[8] patented high-throughput ball-electrospinning technology (SNC BEST ®).
  • The nanofiber filter layer ensures that the mask has a particle (PFE) and bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) greater than 95%, whilst keeping the breathability very high (< 40 Pa/cm2), in line with European standard EN 14683.
  • The filter is equivalent to a Type I (≥ 95% BFE*) or Type II ( ≥ 98% BFE*) mask and is suitable for use in primary care settings where basic PPE protection of health workers and other social and relief workers is required. Note: Like other Type I or II surgical masks, these masks are not suitable for aerosol generating procedures.
  • The filter is manufactured in a clean manufacturing environment under ISO 13485 certified Good Manufacturing Practices for medical devices, and can be used right out of the package.
  • After the initial use, the filter can be disinfected with boiling hot water and reused 9 times.

Rethink Face Mask Filters – Compatible cloth mask

The Rethink Face Mask Filter-compatible cloth mask is designed with a filter pocket that serves to hold the nanofiber filter in place over the wearer’s mouth and nose.

  • The modular design recognises the fact that, when it comes to face masks, one-size-does-NOT-fit-all.
  • The mask design, using ear loops or ties, and different sizes, ensure that masks can be selected for different face shapes and use scenarios.
  • Masks also come with optional fabric finishes for water repellency, flame retardancy, and antiviral and antibacterial activity.
  • All ReThink Face Mask Filter-compatible cloth mask designs have a wire nose piece to ensure optimal conformance to the wearer’s face and have been extensively field-tested and refined to ensure maximum user comfort.
  • The cloth masks are machine washable and can be disinfected with boiling hot water. The cloth masks are made from a durable polyester warp knit fabric which is quick drying so as to ensure the user can continue to use the mask soon after washing.

Rethink Face Mask Filters – Reusability

The 9-times reusable aspect of the ReThink Face Mask Filter brings several incredible benefits:

  • The number of masks that need to be sourced is reduced by 90%, since every filter replaces 9 out of 10 single-use masks.
  • The reduced volume of masks simplifies the logistics of getting them to their intended users.
  • Each nanofiber filter avoids the use of 9 single-use masks, thereby drastically reducing the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of.
  • The nanofiber filters and compatible masks can be disinfected at home by submerging in boiling hot water, so no special equipment or additional chemical disinfectants are needed.

Rethink Face Mask Filters – Reusability

The 9-times reusable aspect of the ReThink Face Mask Filter brings several incredible benefits:

  • The number of masks that need to be sourced is reduced by 90%, since every filter replaces 9 out of 10 single-use masks.
  • The reduced volume of masks simplifies the logistics of getting them to their intended users.
  • Each nanofiber filter avoids the use of 9 single-use masks, thereby drastically reducing the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of.
  • The nanofiber filters and compatible masks can be disinfected at home by submerging in boiling hot water, so no special equipment or additional chemical disinfectants are needed.
References

[1] World Health Organization & United Nations Children’s Fund (‎‎‎UNICEF)‎‎‎. (‎2020)‎. Community-based health care, including outreach and campaigns, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: interim guidance, May 2020. World Health Organization. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/331975. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO

[2] Society for Healthcare Organization Procurement Professional Report. http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2020/images/04/16/shopp.covid.ppd.costs.analysis_.pdf

[3] DevEx. “New fund aims to deliver PPE to 1 million frontline health workers in Africa.” https://www.devex.com/news/new-fund-aims-to-deliver-ppe-to-1-million-frontline-health-workers-in-africa-97813

[4] Joana C. Prata, Ana L.P. Silva, Tony R. Walker, Armando C. Duarte, and Teresa Rocha-Santos. “COVID-19 Pandemic Repercussions on the Use and Management of Plastics.” Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020, 54, 13, 7760–7765. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c02178

[5] UN News. “Five things you should know about disposable masks and plastic pollution.” https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/07/1069151

[6]Tanveer M. Adyel. “Accumulation of plastic waste during COVID-19”. Science, 369, Vol. Issue 6509, pp. 1314-1315. DOI: 10.1126/science.abd9925

[7] Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. “Extended use or re-use of single-use surgical masks and filtering facepiece respirators: A rapid evidence review.” https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/extended-use-or-re-use-of-single-use-surgical-masks-and-filtering-facepiece-respirators-a-rapid-evidence-review/

[8]www.sncfibers.com

Join so many others

We are here to help you Rethinkyour face mask needs!

Call Us Now!

South Africa: +27-21-203-0028
South Africa: +27-87-095-3232
Request a quote

Join so many others

We are here to help you Rethinkyour face mask needs!

Call Us Now!

South Africa: +27-21-203-0028
South Africa: +27-87-095-3232
Request a quote

FAQ’s ON FILTERS

So, I can save money on logistics?2020-11-27T04:41:58-05:00

In Addition to improved safety and convenience, reusable masks provide additional benefits such as:

  • The number of masks that need to be sourced is reduced by 90%, since every filter replaces 9 out of 10 single-use masks.
  • The reduced volume of masks simplifies the logistics of getting them to their intended users.

  • Each nanofiber filter avoids the use of 9 single-use masks, thereby drastically reducing the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of.

  • The nanofiber filters and compatible masks can be disinfected at home by submerging in boiling hot water, so no special equipment or additional chemical disinfectants are needed.
Can the filters be used in any mask?2020-11-27T05:54:36-05:00

Yes, RethinkFace Mask Filter can be used in any compatible face mask with a suitable filter pocket.

The Rethink cloth mask is designed with a filter pocket that works very well with the RethinkFace Mask Filter
The filters can be bought separately.

Can the filter be re-used?2020-11-27T05:55:55-05:00

After the initial use, the RethinkFace Mask Filter can be disinfected with boiling hot water and reused 9 times. This is a significant differentiator from the filter media used in traditional single-use masks. Numerous systematic studies* on the extended use, re-use or reprocessing of single-use medical masks have shown that extended use and re-use of single-use medical masks leads to diminished performance.

*Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. “Extended use or re-use of single-use surgical masks and filtering facepiece respirators: A rapid evidence review.

Filter specifications?2020-11-26T15:32:47-05:00

The nanofiber filter layer ensures that the mask has a particle (PFE) and bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) greater than 95%, whilst keeping the breathability very high (< 40 Pa/cm²), in line with European standard EN 14683.

What does the filter consist of?2020-11-26T15:33:55-05:00

It consists of a filtering layer of tiny PVDF nanofibers with diameters smaller than 155 nanometers. This layer is created through a process called electrospinning with SNC’s patented high-throughput ball-electrospinning technology (SNC BEST®).

FAQ’s ON MASKS

Why are single-use masks bad for the environment?2020-11-27T04:40:39-05:00

It is estimated that 129 billion* single-use face masks are being used per month in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. This mind-boggling volume of single-use masks poses an extraordinary risk to the environment. Landfills and oceans already bear evidence of the crisis on hand.

Can I wash the mask?2020-11-26T16:43:05-05:00

The cloth masks are machine washable and can be disinfected with boiling hot water. The cloth masks are made from a durable polyester warp knit fabric which is quick-drying, to ensure the user can continue to use the mask soon after washing.

Does the mask have a nose piece?2020-11-27T05:56:53-05:00

The Rethink compatible cloth mask designs have a wire nose piece to ensure optimal conformance to the wearer’s face and have been extensively field-tested and refined to ensure maximum user comfort.

Optional fabric finishes?2020-11-26T14:33:43-05:00

Masks also come with optional fabric finishes for water repellency, flame retardancy, and antiviral and antibacterial activity.

Does the mask come with ear loops or ties?2020-11-26T14:35:21-05:00

Different mask designs, using ear loops or ties, and different sizes, ensure that masks can be selected for different face shapes and use scenarios.

AS MENTIONED IN

FAQ’s ON FILTERS

So, I can save money on logistics?2020-11-27T04:41:58-05:00

In Addition to improved safety and convenience, reusable masks provide additional benefits such as:

  • The number of masks that need to be sourced is reduced by 90%, since every filter replaces 9 out of 10 single-use masks.
  • The reduced volume of masks simplifies the logistics of getting them to their intended users.

  • Each nanofiber filter avoids the use of 9 single-use masks, thereby drastically reducing the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of.

  • The nanofiber filters and compatible masks can be disinfected at home by submerging in boiling hot water, so no special equipment or additional chemical disinfectants are needed.
Can the filters be used in any mask?2020-11-27T05:54:36-05:00

Yes, RethinkFace Mask Filter can be used in any compatible face mask with a suitable filter pocket.

The Rethink cloth mask is designed with a filter pocket that works very well with the RethinkFace Mask Filter
The filters can be bought separately.

Can the filter be re-used?2020-11-27T05:55:55-05:00

After the initial use, the RethinkFace Mask Filter can be disinfected with boiling hot water and reused 9 times. This is a significant differentiator from the filter media used in traditional single-use masks. Numerous systematic studies* on the extended use, re-use or reprocessing of single-use medical masks have shown that extended use and re-use of single-use medical masks leads to diminished performance.

*Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. “Extended use or re-use of single-use surgical masks and filtering facepiece respirators: A rapid evidence review.

Filter specifications?2020-11-26T15:32:47-05:00

The nanofiber filter layer ensures that the mask has a particle (PFE) and bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) greater than 95%, whilst keeping the breathability very high (< 40 Pa/cm²), in line with European standard EN 14683.

What does the filter consist of?2020-11-26T15:33:55-05:00

It consists of a filtering layer of tiny PVDF nanofibers with diameters smaller than 155 nanometers. This layer is created through a process called electrospinning with SNC’s patented high-throughput ball-electrospinning technology (SNC BEST®).

FAQ’s ON MASKS

Why are single-use masks bad for the environment?2020-11-27T04:40:39-05:00

It is estimated that 129 billion* single-use face masks are being used per month in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. This mind-boggling volume of single-use masks poses an extraordinary risk to the environment. Landfills and oceans already bear evidence of the crisis on hand.

Can I wash the mask?2020-11-26T16:43:05-05:00

The cloth masks are machine washable and can be disinfected with boiling hot water. The cloth masks are made from a durable polyester warp knit fabric which is quick-drying, to ensure the user can continue to use the mask soon after washing.

Does the mask have a nose piece?2020-11-27T05:56:53-05:00

The Rethink compatible cloth mask designs have a wire nose piece to ensure optimal conformance to the wearer’s face and have been extensively field-tested and refined to ensure maximum user comfort.

Optional fabric finishes?2020-11-26T14:33:43-05:00

Masks also come with optional fabric finishes for water repellency, flame retardancy, and antiviral and antibacterial activity.

Does the mask come with ear loops or ties?2020-11-26T14:35:21-05:00

Different mask designs, using ear loops or ties, and different sizes, ensure that masks can be selected for different face shapes and use scenarios.

AS MENTIONED IN

Go to Top