Start-up set for mass production of N95 masks

Product clears all mandatory tests

The State may not experience another shortage of N95 masks if and when a pandemic breaks out at any point in the future.

A Kochi-based company, working with the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and Maker Village, is determined to turn the shortage of N95 masks, the most common particulate-filtering facepiece respirator across the world, felt during the fight against COVID-19 being the last such episode.

“The product has cleared all eight tests, including those prescribed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Of them, five were conducted at the South India Textile Research Association and three at a major mask manufacturing company. The approval of the Union government alone is pending for which the product has been sent to the DRDO lab at Gwalior for clearance from the Indian Council of Medical Research,” said Saji Gopinath, Chief Executive Officer, KSUM. In fact, production can be started once government approval is obtained in which case it will be the third such company in the country to produce N95 masks. The startup has the capacity to churn out 5,000 to 10,000 masks a day and has already stockpiled raw materials for manufacturing over 2 lakh masks, Mr. Gopinath added.

Quality paramaters

In all the eight tests, the product exceeded the quality parameters of N95 and nearly matched the standards of N99 masks.

According to N95 specifications, bacterial filtration needs to be at least 95%, whereas it was 99.70% for the product. Particulate matter filtrate was 99.91% as against the standard of 95%.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 4:36:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/start-up-set-for-mass-production-of-n95-masks/article31360656.ece

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