Since the spread of COVID-19, medical face masks and N95 respirators have become very sought-after commodities. Unfortunately, they are also in short supply, pushing companies and researchers to develop alternative devices to filter out airborne particles.
ACAMP, a non-profit organization in Alberta, Canada, collaborated with the University of Alberta to develop a respirator that is an effective alternative to N95 respirators. Their A95 respirator was tested by an engineering team at the University of Alberta and demonstrated a filtration efficiency equal to that of N95 respirators.
The A95 respirator consists of a polyurethane or polypropylene frame with a changeable filter. The polyurethane version is softer and available in multiple colors, while the polypropylene version is slightly more rigid. The polyurethane and polypropylene models sell on ACAMP’s website for $19.95 CAD ($14) and $9.95 CAD ($7), respectively. Both have N95-like filtration efficiency and strap around the back of the head rather than behind the ears.
The A95 respirator is reusable, according to the company, and maintains its efficiency after handwashing or heating in a low temperature oven. The company suggests changing filters every 5 washes and sells a 3-pack of filters for $9.95 CAD ($7). The device is produced in facilities in Edmonton and Calgary and it is patent pending.