Briggs & Stratton Corporation, humbled by the heroic acts of the healthcare professionals working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, has joined the MaskForce consortium that's designed, developed, and produced a reusable face mask with disposable filters to protect these individuals.
The MaskForce face mask, which is temporarily authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by healthcare professionals to help prevent the spread of infection or illness during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be sanitized and reused unlike most face masks that are designed to be discarded after a single use. Its filters, however, are intended to be disposed of after every eight hours of wear, further extending the life of the mask.
Because of its expertise in air filtration for its engines, Briggs & Stratton led the consortium’s efforts to identify and source candidate filter materials found outside of the traditional medical supply chain given the extreme shortages. A team of Briggs & Stratton employees conducted more than 250 flow resistance and filtration efficiency tests on Briggs & Stratton equipment to evaluate materials that will provide the breathability, quality of filtration, and protection needed by medical professionals and first responders when caring for COVID-19 patients. The team presented its recommendations to the consortium, which ultimately selected the H&V Technostat 3300 filter element for its final MaskForce design.
“Creating innovative products that make work easier and improve lives is the mission we live by at Briggs & Stratton; so naturally, when presented with the opportunity to use our expertise in a way that can protect the lives of front line workers, our employees met the challenge head-on,” said Todd Teske, chairman, president, and CEO of Briggs & Stratton Corporation. “We are honored to be a part of the MaskForce consortium, and my thanks goes out to Husco for leading the effort as well as to each and every organization that played a role in bringing this to life.”
The mask is priced close to cost, with any profits in 2020 reinvested back into the community. In addition to accelerating production of the current model, a smaller form-factor mask is under development. The MaskForce face mask is temporarily authorized pursuant to an FDA emergency use authorization and is actively pursuing NIOSH N95 certification.