Blog Contributor photo   GARY CHAN | June 4, 2020 • 13 min podcast listen • 7 min summary read

The world is starting to open up once again, so the one question we should ask ourselves is, “Am I prepared or are my staff equipped to go back work at this time?”

With physical distancing still in effect, the workplace that we are going back to is going to look very different. Washing our hands frequently, sanitizing our work environment, and wearing masks around the office is going to be a part of the new normal for the next little while. A few of our experts at CREATIVE had the opportunity to record a podcast about face masks recently. We tackled a few questions about regulations and also highlighted the ones that we are recommending from our trusted suppliers.

Listen to the podcast here

Show Notes

Topics: Disposable Face Masks, KN95 Face Masks, Reusable 3-Ply Cloth Mask, Reusable 3-Ply Canvas Masks

Host: Gary Chan

Guests: Misty Mushynsky, Kelly Tran, Melissa Couch

Face Masks 101

Gary: I know that you’ve recently attended an educational webinar and some experience on PPE, perhaps you can tell us a little bit about this and what you learned from it and some specific about masks?

Misty: When I have a client request a quote or information on masks there are a few things I like to note right off the bat;

Firstly, there are hundreds and hundreds of different manufacturers and sources of masks that are newly available to purchase from – and not all are created equal.

At the onset of this pandemic, the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) and Health Canada issued an Interm Order granting manufacturers an expedited process to produce medical device equipment to aid in preventing the spread of the virus.

Regulatory Requirements Of PPE

This has eased some of the regulatory requirements of PPE, however, in order to legally distribute this product manufacturers must register its establishment and list its devices with the FDA and/or Health Canada.

Manufacturers must also demonstrate that the new device is cleared as “substantially equivalent” to a predicate device in terms of intended use, technological characteristics and performance testing upon request.

It is important that you are ensuring that the manufacturer has been approved by one or both of these organizations, that the manufacturer has completed necessary testing and can provide Safety Datasheets for all of their products.

We have recently learned that the FDA conducted extensive testing on masks from the 80 Chinese factories previously approved by them to produce KN95 masks and of those 80 factories, only 14 are now approved by the FDA due to the failure of most to comply with their standards.

Protecting The PPE Supplies For Our Front-Line Workers

Secondly, equipment specifically manufactured for health care facilities should not be purchased for personal use, it should be left available for our front-line workers. If the manufacturer is a NIOSH (National Institute of Occupations Safety & Health) approved manufacturer – these products should only be going to medical professionals.

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/default.html

Podcast guest: Misty Mushynsky

Misty Mushynsky, CAS, FAM Certified
PROMOTIONAL MARKETING CONSULTANT,
VIRTUAL MARKETING ASSISTANT
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Kelly Tran, B.Sc, CAS FAM Certified
PROMOTIONAL MARKETING CONSULTANT,
VIRTUAL MARKETING ASSISTANT
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Melissa Couch, FAM Certified
PROMOTIONAL MARKETING CONSULTANT,
VIRTUAL MARKETING ASSISTANT
View Profile

Using PPE Face Masks

Kelly: We will provide the link to Health Canada for your review if you would like to look up particular manufacturers or models to confirm if they are authorized under the “Interm Order for Import and Use Against the Spread of COVID-19”.

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/medical-devices/products-authorized-interim-orde.html

Please note, that the face masks may be used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they are not intended for medical purposes and do not provide liquid barrier protection. Whereas surgical masks will provide liquid barrier protection, and should be reserved for the medical professionals and essential services. Face masks can be used as a “source control” to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Which is the concept of creating a barrier to prevent someone who is sick from spreading it to others. Proper hygiene practice is recommended in addition to the use of face masks.

Vetting PPE Suppliers

All the face masks we are providing are from our vetted suppliers. Of the vetting process, the first thing is they are a trusted supplier we know and trust to provide us with the stock and information we may require. This means we are confirming that they are following the regulations and asking for the Safety Datasheets before we quote anything to ensure the product has been safety tested. All items should have proper labelling and can have safety paperwork provided when needed.

I addition to vetting the suppliers, we have teammates personally trying on and testing the quality of the fit and materials of the masks we are recommending, to ensure we know what we are providing to our clients. Our clients are trusting us to provide them with quality product and we take that very seriously.

Gary: This is where Melissa comes in. We’ve received several samples from our suppliers and it looks like we’ve narrowed it down to 4. Why don’t you help us go through them one by one, and explains to us why these 4 stand out from the crowd?

Note: We’ve summarized Melissa’s review on the 4 face masks into point form below for easy reference.

Example of a disposable face mask

Disposable Face Mask
1-time, single-use mask
Lowest pricing point
Made in China, stock in Ontario, Canada
Immediate shipping
Fits well

KN95 Face Mask

KN95 Face Mask
5-6 times use
A modified version of the N95
Slightly higher price point, but more value when factors in the number of uses
Not medical mask
Made in China, stock in Ontario, Canada
Ships immediately
Fits very nice, it seals around the chin and the nose

3-ply face mask

Reusable 3-Ply Cloth Mask
Added protection with 3-ply
Antibacterial mask
Elastic loop
Fit may vary, can be used with ear savers
Mid-range price point
Standard delivery is 2 weeks

3-ply canvas face mask

Reusable 3-Ply Canvas Mask
Melissa’s top pick!
Made in the USA.
Higher price point, with higher minimum order quantity
Production time is roughly 4 weeks
Lots of colour options
Fits excellent, cover so much area of the face and it sits very well
Very comfortable material

Melissa: Something to keep in mind when you are making your selections: “What you need it for?” and “What is your budget?”. So only buy within your budget and what’s you need it for. For me, I will buy the higher price range, the $9.00 ones because it is reusable, and keep reusing it many times and keep washing by hand. If it is for my son, I will give him the disposable ones. So it depends on who you are providing it for.

Gary: Perfect, Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you for Misty, Kelly, and Melissa for joining me in this podcast, and also thank you to everyone who is listening as well. Be sure to subscribe to our channel for more upcoming podcasts on various topics. Stay tuned, continue to Stay Safe, Stay Healthy. Have a wonderful day!

Need More Information About Face Masks?

Whether you are looking for branded or blank face masks, in Edmonton and area, contact us! We are committed to working ONLY with TRUSTED, PREFERRED Suppliers that have secured stock in Canada. Call us at 780.988.0015 or email us at hello@acreativeagency.ca

Contributor Bio photo - Gary Chan

GARY CHAN  |  Gary is a Project Manager and Social Media Specialist at CREATIVE Promotional Marketing Agency. With a B.Com Marketing Degree and Strategic Social Media Citation from the University of Alberta, his focus is mainly on promotional operation efficiency and social media communication. He is also a certified Master Advertising Specialist (MAS), so if you have any questions about promotional marketing, be sure to email Gary at gary@acreativeagency.ca