By Odessa Ingarfield
The 3 layer tube mask was created when it was evident there were insufficient products on the market that would provide great protection against the transmission of viruses (COVID 19 in particular), were safe near airways, had proper testing, while being environmentally friendly.
The 3 layer tube mask is produced with ethical North American labour standards and European quality materials.
What makes this product unique and top of the line?
Rigorous laboratory and wash and wear performance testing was part of every decision; from materials, and fit to ease of laundering. The 3 layer tube mask went through 50 washes, 20 wash and wear tests, 6 filtration materials analyzed, inner and outer layer fabrics reviewed and even the elastic and drawcord locks tested.
Everything was considered: 8 different drawcord options were tested before the final decision was made and 10 different drawcord locks were reviewed (including testing wearing gloves and mittens to ensure outdoor/indoor products could be adjusted easily in cold weather while keeping fingers warm).
The important characteristics that we considered in relation to the 3 layer tube masks during research and development were:
- Cytotoxicty: only use materials that limit the risk of harm if inhaled or ingested.
- Skin sensitization and irritation: avoid material next to skin that would be irritating, causing a rash or be abrasive.
- Particulate filtration efficiciency (PFE) % used for measuring virus filtering ability: use a washable and reusable product that performs as close as possible to a medical grade N95 mask.
- Breathability (Differential pressure): we need air to pass through, have insulative properties but still be comfortable to wear indoors.
- Restricted Substance: chose materials that are Oeko Tex certified and avoid substances in excess of safe limits on the Restricted Substance List.
- Launderability: it had to last at least 50 machine washes while still having the highest TESTED particulate filtration efficiency on the market.
- Air leakage: make it easily adjustable so that air leakage can be reduced with a tailored fit.
- Comfort: make it comfortable, limit chaffing, limit bruising, limit eyeglass fogging, and allow for stretch during speaking and facial movements.
- Reduce Environmental impact: eliminate disposable filters and single use materials while ensuring the product can be used well after COVID-19 is no longer a concern.
Some of the wear testing included winter biking, taking a 5 hour flight, wearing it indoors and out, using it with ski helmets and goggles, inside an arena, with glasses on, on adults and children, before and after washing, in cold and warm weather (-21 to +22 degrees Celsius), on men and women, and with a multitude of material combinations.
We ran laboratory testing, and in the end, created one of the world’s best products on the market.
The Safetube Mask is a collaboration by Dessius and EcoEquitable and available for sale on our website: https://ecoequitable.ca/collections/ecoequitable-products/products/safetube