Should we be thinking about obtaining face-masks for ourselves, helping to provide them for frontline healthcare staff, or both? As training agency PADI launches a range of face-coverings using ocean-recycled materials, UK dive-gear manufacturer AP Diving is tackling a continued shortage of personal protection equipment, particularly for care-home staff.
Non-medical-grade masks for the public are intended to stop wearers spreading a virus rather than directly protecting the wearer, so are as effective as the number of people who use them.
As official advice around the world (perhaps even the UK) appears to shift towards encouraging their use when lockdown conditions are eased, PADI is marketing a range with scuba divers in mind.
The training agency has linked up with Irish rash-vest manufacturer Rash’R, which had already produced its own range of non-medical-grade face-masks with disposable PM2.5 filters. They are made from “Ocean Balance” polyester fibre recycled from plastic bottles, fishing nets and other materials reclaimed from the sea.
The double-layered reusable masks are said to be machine-washable and quick-drying and are available in one adult and one child size at one price, £17.20. Each comes with five carbon-activated filters, which work for up to eight hours. Replacement filter packs of five cost £8. Designs feature great white, geometric, blue and whale sharks, manta rays and divers.