First reusable N99 mask manufactured and distributed in Canada
With the pandemic's second wave, mass production of Dorma 99 masks will help meet the protection needs of Canadian healthcare workers
MONTREAL — Dorma Filtration received its Medical Device Establishment Licence (MDEL) from Health Canada to market the first N99 mask entirely designed and manufactured in Canada.
In the short term, Dorma Filtration will be able to manufacture up to 500,000 units per month, increasing to one million units by December 2020.
Production of the new mask has been launched in direct response to the Government of Canada’s request for essential protective equipment made in Canada, helping to meet healthcare workers’ needs during this second wave.
During the first wave in spring 2020, many health professionals were concerned by the lack of adequate personal protective equipment to protect frontline workers.
Filtering more than 99% of airborne particles, the Dorma 99 mask is more efficient and environmentally friendly than the disposable N95 mask, since it can be reused more than 30 times and its components are recyclable. Each Dorma 99 mask can therefore replace at least 30 single-use N95 masks. Its cost per use is also lower than that of existing disposable solutions.
“We are driven by the desire to find a solution that can be manufactured locally while offering optimal protection at a cost-per-use that is considerably lower than what is currently available,” said René Caissie, CEO and co-founder of Dorma Filtration, in a prepared statement. “Our product is reusable and recyclable, which means that a single mask effectively replaces large numbers of masks that end up in the environment.”
This N99 mask is the result of a project implemented by Dorma Filtration in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). In addition to the advanced technologies available at the NRC’s Boucherville facilities, the NRC team has expertise in optimizing the sorts of injection moulding processes to be employed in manufacturing the masks.
The nature of the current situation made it possible to bring together the scientific expertise of NRC researchers and engineers in the industry, including: Sefar BDH, a leader in the filtration technologies, MI Integration, a company specialized in injection moulding, eLab extrusion, a company specialized in polymer extrusion, and Rio Tinto, which contributed financially to the filter design, in addition to acting as a facilitator between the project’s stakeholders.
Canadian hospitals have already started purchasing Dorma 99 masks.
“As surgeons, we were aware from the outset of the crisis that there were inadequate quantities of PPE available,” said Caissie. “The design of the Dorma 99 mask was made possible in record time through the unprecedented collaboration of several partners. We’re very pleased to be able to offer this Canadian-made equipment to all of our colleagues and to government agencies.”
Dorma Filtration continues to work with the National Research Council of Canada. They are developing a new concept of a custom-made mask manufactured by 3D printing, based on a scan of the face made using a smartphone app.