Dr Chalikonda said: “Elastomerics for us is really a game changer. “When I think about all the millions of dollars wasted on the N95 and then trying to reuse them makes you realize how much elastomers are a missed opportunity.”
Federal health officials say they are moving as quickly as possible to come up with stronger guidance on elastomers. Maryann D’Alessandro, director of the National Laboratory of Personal Protective Technology, said scientists are looking at feedback from a study that distributed nearly 100,000 respirators to hospitals, nursing homes. seniors and first-aiders across the country. “If we can put together a toolkit to guide organizations and educate users, we hope it can help move needles,” she said.
Many masked entrepreneurs are unlikely to last that long. Max Bock-Aronson, the co-founder of Breathe99, the company that makes the elastic breathing masks that Time magazine included in its 2020 best inventions list, has shut down operations at the company’s Minnesota plant.
He blamed the drop in sales on Covid fatigue and dwindling public interest in protective gear. The company’s fortunes were soon destroyed by the CDC’s mask guidelines, he added, which boosted Amazon, Google and Facebook. to restrict or prohibit the sale medical masks for consumers, even as PPE imports once again began to flood the United States.
“The entire industry has been gutted,” Mr. Bock-Aronson said. “Every time there’s a new variant we get a small increase in sales, but I haven’t pulled the nickel out of the company since last May.”
Currently, he is focusing on finding buyers for his company while selling off his inventory online. These masks cost $59 and can be wrapped in washable covers in eight colors, including crimson, linen, and royal blue.
All sales, the website apologetic points out, are final.