Photo Credit: Dorma Filtration

COVID-19 First reusable, environmentally friendly N99 mask manufactured in Canada


Wednesday, October 21, 2020 10:25:00 AM

- With the arrival of the pandemic's second wave, mass production of Dorma 99 masks will help meet the protection needs of Canadian healthcare workers. -

Dorma Filtration has received its Medical Device Establishment Licence (MDEL) from Health Canada to market the first N99 mask entirely designed and manufactured in Canada. Production of this reusable, recyclable and highly efficient mask has started. In the short term, Dorma Filtration will be able to manufacture up to 500,000 units per month, increasing to one million units by December 2020.

Production of the new mask has been launched in direct response to the Government of Canada's request for essential protective equipment made in Canada, helping to meet healthcare workers' critical needs during this second wave.

During the first wave in spring 2020, many health professionals were concerned by the lack of adequate personal protective equipment to protect frontline workers. According to a recent survey from the Canadian Medical Association*, 54% of physicians in Canada are still experiencing challenges acquiring personal protective equipment.

Reusable and environmentally responsible protection
Filtering more than 99%** of airborne particles, the Dorma 99 mask is more efficient and more environmentally friendly than the disposable N95 mask, since it can be reused more than 30 times and its components are recyclable. Each Dorma 99 mask can therefore replace at least 30 single-use N95 masks. Its cost per use is also lower than that of existing disposable solutions.

"We are driven by the desire to find a solution that can be manufactured locally while offering optimal protection at a cost-per-use that is considerably lower than what is currently available," said Dr. René Caissie, CEO and co-founder of Dorma Filtration. "Our product is reusable and recyclable, which means that a single mask effectively replaces large numbers of masks that end up in the environment." 

Robust partnerships to meet an essential need

This N99 mask is the result of a project implemented by Dorma Filtration in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). In addition to the advanced technologies available at the NRC's Boucherville facilities, the NRC team has invaluable expertise in optimizing the sorts of injection moulding processes to be employed in manufacturing the masks. The exceptional nature of the current situation has made it possible to bring together in record time the scientific expertise of NRC researchers and the significant know-how of engineers in the industry, including these essential partners in the project: Sefar BDH, a leader in the filtration technologies, MI Integration, a company specialized in injection moulding, eLab extrusion, a company specialized in polymer extrusion, and Rio Tinto, which contributed financially to the filter design, in addition to acting as a facilitator between the project's stakeholders.

The partners are interested in first meeting the needs of Canadian workers in health and social services who have expressed a strong interest in the product. Canadian hospitals have already started purchasing Dorma 99 masks. Depending on demand, production could reach more than one million units per month to serve the industrial market and as well as for Canadians.

"As surgeons, we were aware from the outset of the crisis that there were inadequate quantities of PPE available." Said Dr. René Caissie. "The design of the Dorma 99 mask was made possible in record time through the unprecedented collaboration of several partners. We're very pleased to be able to offer this Canadian-made equipment to all of our colleagues and to government agencies."

Yves Tremblay, managing director of Sefar BDH, had this to say: "This project is a great demonstration of our ability to rally around a problem and quickly deliver an innovative solution that meets the highest quality criteria. We're very proud of it." 

"This project is an excellent opportunity for MI Intégration to apply our 30 years of experience in automotive sealing to manufacture waterproof and comfortable protective equipment," added Vincent Houle, president of MI Intégration. "Our team is fully mobilized to make this multi-company initiative a great success." 

Emmanuel Bergeron, director of Regional Economic Development Quebec at Rio Tinto, noted: "Rio Tinto wanted to find a way to make a reliable and safe mask here in Canada. We're proud to have facilitated this partnership between Dorma Filtration, Sefar BDH, eLab extrusion and MI Integration to produce and market a high-performance and environmentally friendly mask."

Dorma Filtration continues to work with the National Research Council of Canada. Together, they are developing a new concept of a custom-made mask manufactured by 3D printing, based on a scan of the face made using a smartphone app.

The Dorma 99 mask:

- Effective filtration – Meets filtration efficiency requirements of at least 99% for solid and liquid aerosols that do not contain oil.
- Reusable – The Dorma 99 mask can be reused at least 30 times and is easily disinfected. Dorma Filtration also offers reusable filters.
- Recyclable – Components of the Dorma 99 mask are 100 percent recyclable
- Lightweight construction – Provides comfort and durability during long working hours
- Custom fit – Adapts to the shape of the face to provide an effective seal.

SOURCE Dorma Filtration