Masks have been around for many years, but now more than ever, the industry needs to be innovative, says a Kelowna mask manufacturer.
Breathe Medical Manufacturing recently celebrated its first year in the business, having produced 46 million masks to supply health care workers with surgical masks.
The company’s products and resources have all been focused on fulfilling federal orders for personal protective equipment (PPE) but Breathe’s CEO Robert Balazs said they’re slowly changing that.
“There has been a shift in our company to able to now say from businesses to regular users and everyday folk, we want the product available to them,” he said.
Balazs said besides making their masks available on Amazon, they have also completed research on MRI-compatible masks, which they hope to ship out within six months.
“We’ve had an assessment done by PHSA (Provincial Health Services Authority) to look at our masks and give us their feedback,” he said. “We’ve actually sold 24 million units to PHSA.”
The masks have non-magnetic nose wires in them so both technicians and patients can wear them while MRI scans are in session. Breathe has also been busy making anti-fogging mask for glasses-wearers.
“We’ve done a bit of research to find the right raw material that behaves a certain way where the moisture is actually attracted to the (mask),” Balazs said.
“So when you’re breathing, it sucks in all the moisture versus expelling it out and fogging up your glasses.”
Balazs said masks have been around for many years, but there hasn’t been much innovation unit something as all-encompassing as COVID-19 came along, which was why they wanted to pivot some of their production towards other types of masks.
In all, he said the goal is for Breathe to keep innovating and keep providing jobs for local residents while also producing masks for various areas of life and work.