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Smaller US-made N95 respirator

Responding to a gap in the PPE market.

21st January 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  West Bridgewater, MA, USA

Protective, Medical/Hygiene

Shawmut Corporation, based in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts,  has launched a small-size NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirator to help protect people with smaller faces.

Shawmut’s Protex N95 particulate respirator model SR9520S will be sold alongside its medium/large model SR9520 on the company’s website and on other popular sites for personal protective equipment, including Project N95 and Armbrust American.

“There was a significant size gap in the industry, leaving millions struggling with poor-fitting masks – or completely unprotected,” said James Wyner, CEO of Shawmut. “After spending the last few months working through the research, design, development, testing and regulatory processes we are thrilled to provide this new and essential size.”

The Protex SR9520S N95 respirator is made with the same patent-pending design as its counterpart, but with a smaller form factor to optimise fit on smaller faces. All Shawmut N95 respirators are manufactured at the company’s plant in West Bridgewater, using US-based raw materials to help avoid shipping delays and reduce the need for imported materials.

While smaller in form, the SR9520S respirator was designed for adult faces. Families considering an N95 respirator for their children should take the time to make sure the N95 fits properly – that it is sealed around the face, straps are not loose and the wearer is comfortable enough not to remove it. To get the maximum protection from an N95 respirator, there should be no air leakage around the edges of the mask. Before depending on the small N95 for protection, the wearer should test for leaks and gaps all around the edges.

“It’s so important to have a good fit and seal to prevent any leakage around the edges of any mask you are wearing to get the protection it promises, and our experience shows that a high-quality N95 respirator offers the best fit and seal, especially compared to a KN95 mask or surgical face mask,” said Larry Weldon, VP of global quality for Shawmut. “Therefore, we needed to provide a solution that expanded the number of people that an N95 will fit.”

While the recently announced US programme to distribute 400 million N95 masks does not include any child-sized masks, it is unknown whether the Strategic National Stockpile includes any that are small in size.

Shawmut’s patent-pending Protex All Day Comfort System combines a uniquely soft but strong inner layer, a lightweight and highly efficient and effective inner filtration layer, and high-sealing viscoelastic nose foam for a secure but comfortable seal. The result is an N95 mask performance with less air resistance, and that is cooler with less stale air inside the mask for easier breathability, less eyeglass fogging, and less pressure on the face for all-day-comfort and wear.

The Protex SR9520S offers a minimum of 95% filtration efficiency, meeting the government standard for N95s. The moulded-cup-style respirator – preferred by most users for its performance – is made with  proprietary high-efficiency, bi-layer, meltblown filtration material offering a comfortable fit for extended wear.

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