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Was it that long ago when personal protective equipment (PPE) was only the domain of medical professionals? With Coronavirus infection rates accelerating, the world has taken to wearing face masks as a way to combat COVID-19. Whether you want to support a homegrown business or need some peace of mind when it comes to quality assurance, here’s a list of local manufacturers and where you can buy their Australian made surgical face masks.
Med-con has been manufacturing surgical face masks in Shepparton, Victoria since 1989 and was Australia’s only surgical-grade face mask producer at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.
It currently produces Australian Standard AS4381:2015 Level 2 and 3 masks that are tested for filtration efficiency and fluid resistance. However, its main client is the Australian federal government and is under contract to provide the health sector with 59 million masks by the end of November 2020. Therefore, Med-con masks are very hard to come by.
At time of publication, only Med-con Level 3 Surgical Mask with Ties are available for retail purchase. These Australian made fluid resistant surgical face masks offer Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) and Particulate Filtration Efficiency (PFE) of > 99%.
WHERE TO BUY:
Westlab — Level 3 Surgical Mask with Ties (Westlab are allocated 500,000 Med-con masks per month)
Brisbane-based MCP Health is a new division of a family owned business with over 30 years of medical and health manufacturing experience in Australia. They too produce AS4381:2015 Level 1, 2 and 3 surgical face masks for varying levels of risk exposure.
MCP surgical face masks are tested for Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE), with Level 1 filtering ≥ 95% and, Level 2 and 3 filtering out ≥ 98% of bacteria particles. These 3-ply, latex free masks are also fluid resistance and come in earloop and tie styles.
Advanced Medical Device (AMD) is Australia’s first manufacturer of N95 equivalent masks. Located in Sydney’s Baulkham Hills, they currently make the AMD Nano-Tech FFP2/P2 Particulate Respirator, which meets Australian and New Zealand Compliance Standards AS/NZS 1716:2012 for P2 masks. Testing completed by VicLab found that these Australian made masks filtered out 99.6% of particles.
AMD’s flat fold, 3-panel respirators are designed in the style of Korean KF94s and fit tighter around the nose and mouth than 3-ply surgical face masks. AMD Nano-Tech Particulate Respirators are equipped with a nano-filter which provide higher levels of filtration efficiency when compared to the meltblown filters used in regular surgical face masks.
WHERE TO BUY:
Aussie Pharma Direct
Evolve Group | Ipkis Medical
Evolve Group also operating in Brisbane, Queensland recently pivoted to mask manufacturing and has created the Ipkis EV98 Respirator.
With a familiar KN95 design, these earloop face masks offer a snug seal over the mouth and nose. They’re made from medical grade materials with a steel coated nose clip and are liquid repelling thanks to a resilient liquid resistant outer layer.
These respirators also perform better than KN95s by filtering ≥ 98% of particles. Most importantly, they are produced in an ISO 8 certified clean room and so you can rest assured that your respirators are hygienically made and safe for use.
Ipkis also offers a range of other PPE including face shields, face shield replacement visors and Ear Savers, worn around the back of the head to reduce the ear strain that comes with wearing masks for an extended period.
UPDATE 14/9/2020: Ipkis now manufactures a certified P2 Respirator, meeting AS/NZS 1716:2012 requirements. This means that the product provides 99% Particle Filtration Efficiency, as tested by Australia’s CSIRO and VicLab.