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Face mask manufactured in South Africa piques international interest

An innovative proudly South African face mask, with a simple replaceable filtration system at its core, is reportedly attracting big international interest.


Image via Adobe Stock

The timely Hudaco Air Mask is a lockdown-period product of the JSE-listed Hudaco Industries group. The face mask seemingly ticks all the right boxes: It’s unrivalled in its air-intake and air-exhaust effectiveness, has easy exchange of filters, is skin friendly, comfortable and is reasonably priced, especially at a time when the cost of filtered masks has shot through the roof, Mining Weekly reports.

Environmentally friendly face mask

A big consideration was that the face mask should be non-disposable and simple to clean for reuse, which would mitigate the environmental waste associated with disposable masks.

The change-out of the mask’s filtration system is simple and the filter can be disinfected without any damage.

How it works

A big plus is that detailed attention has been given to the means of disposing of the user’s exhaled carbon dioxide and providing a clear pathway for inhaled air.

For this purpose, two exhalation non-return filtration valves are separately utilised and are independent from the main filter system intake.

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When exhaling, Mining Weekly explains, pressure build-up in the face mask is naturally released through the valves creating a vacuum in the mask, allowing for fresh air to flow into the mask.

“When you’ve got a couple of hundred or even thousands of employees, which they have on the mines, and when you’re changing masks that are costing you R55 each a day, it costs a lot of money,” pointed out Hudaco Industries CE Graham Dunford.

This served as the catalyst and he directed a Hudaco executive to look into ways of getting the company’s injection-moulding machines operating while solving the critical face mask problem.

The outcome is a comfortably fitting face mask with a filtration system that provides a physical barrier against droplets of five microns in size, while changeable exhaust filters clean up exhaled breath, according to Mining Weekly.

Also read: World’s most expensive mask will cost more than R26m