UBC researchers develop biodegradable masks made from B.C. wood fibres

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UBC researchers develop new kind of biodegrable face mask – May 21, 2020

Non-medical masks are becoming part of British Columbians’ everyday lives, with recommendations even being made to wear them on transit.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) say they have come up with masks that represent the West Coast.

They have developed two prototypes for what they are calling the Canadian-Mask or Can-Mask, which use a frame made from B.C. wood fibres.

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One uses a commercial N-95 filter and the other uses a filter specially designed by the UBC team, which is made of wood-based products.

Both masks are also biodegradable.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Non-medical masks now recommended for Canadians, officials say

Both prototypes are currently being tested to ensure they meet health industry specifications for fit and permeability, with plans to apply for Health Canada certification in the near future.

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“With millions of disposable masks and gloves already polluting city sidewalks and potentially entering our rivers and oceans, we urgently need a biodegradable option to avoid making a massive impact on our environment,” researcher Johan Foster, a chemical and biological engineering associate professor in the faculty of applied science, said in a release.

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