A Burnaby company makes best-in-class respirator in Canada for COVID-19 protection
As the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread in B.C., more consumers and healthcare workers may be looking for better protection. A Burnaby company has achieved a milestone for respirator protection that may do that. It has met standards in Europe and Canada to achieve the highest level of protection in its class, receiving both European and CSA certifications, a first for a Canadian made respirator.
"We're seeing more and more consumers now concerned with the level of filtration and breathability of their masks," said Mikhail Moore, president of Vitacore Industries.
Vitacore Industries’ CAN99 surgical respirator has been awarded FFP3, the highest classification conducted by the British Standards Institute for fit, filtration and breathability. It is the first Canadian respirator to receive the classification and the first 99PFE-L3 respirator to be CSA certified.
"The idea of the Can99 was, how can we have a very breathable mask, one that fits the most faces but also achieve a high level of filtration?" explained Moore
The National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory also assessed the CAN99 against 600 other respirators made worldwide.
"And it was one of only five respirators to have achieved 100 percent max filtration," Moore said.
In addition, he says it also achieved top breathability.
Vitacore began operations around the time the pandemic began because there was a shortage of Canadian-made masks.
The company now operates nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week, producing four million mask a month.
It makes the ASTM level surgical mask, the CAN95 and now the CAN99, which provides the best protection, greater than 99% particulate filtration.
In the U.K., the CAN99 type of mask is the recommended class of protection for healthcare workers but in Canada, they often wear the surgical masks.
Moore hopes to change that. It is his goal to ensure all frontline workers are equipped with the CAN99 mask.
He says while Canucks hockey players were getting sick with COVID-19 earlier this year many of the support staff wore the CAN99 respirators, and none of them were infected.
"None of the trainers actually got it," Moore said.
The CAN99 is available for sale online on Vitacore's website. It is also sold at London Drugs. The higher the protection, the more you will pay. For example, Moore says the cheaper surgical mask costs anywhere from $0.15 to $0.50 each – depending on how many you buy. The CAN99 price will range from $2.50 to more than $3.00.