Glass Face Masks With Better-Than-N95 Filtration!

Designers Garrett Benisch and Elizabeth Bridges grew a transparent biobased mask in their kitchen. Swiss researchers figured out how to make transparent masks using electrospinning. Now we’re seeing a third approach to designing a transparent facemask, and unlike the other designs, it’s up for pre-order now.

The Civility Mask, created by a team of 14 designers and 15 engineers coordinated by French engineer Pierre Blondon, is made out of glass(!) and a TPE seal that contacts the wearer’s face.

Two ports on either side of the face contain small electric fans (one blowing in, one blowing out; I assume that’s how they prevent the mask from fogging). Both fans have replaceable filters over them, and according to Blondon feature even better filtration than an N95 mask (see below).

The Civility Mask features easily-interchangeable filters, each of which has a 12-hour lifespan. It is adjustable to fit any head size and weighs half as much as a smartphone, thus making it comfortable and easy to wear all-day. The mask is eco-friendly: a wipe with a 70-percent alcohol solution (hand sanitizer) does the job; no need to put it in the dishwasher. And, the Civility Mask can last for years.

Up on IndieGogo right now, the masks cost €35 (USD $39) and come with a month’s worth of filters. One month’s worth of replacement filters cost €10 (USD $11). Beyond that I had tons of questions, and here are the answers of most interest to me from the FAQ:

What made you decide to make this sort of product?

Because when you wear a face mask, you lose your identity. I wanted to address the problem of not being able to see people’s emotions, so transparency was the obvious solution. There’s a smile hidden behind every mask. In the era of emojis, as we spend our days expressing emotions with emoticons, the world was left paralyzed with a single emoji: ??.

Does CIVILITY offer a high level of protection?

Yes, they meet the 3 standards: they’re ergonomic, filtered and airtight. The filtration complies with the EN 14683/ASTM F2100-19 standard: they filter 98% of 0.3 particles. Breathability: less than 40 Pa/cm².The airtightness will comply with the EN1827 standard. It will be more than 98%.

What is the evidence of this effectiveness?

The evidence will be demonstrated by tests to be carried out by the DGA (the French Government Defence agency).

Why did you create an Eco-Friendly mask?

We began with the assumption that a disposable mask, lasting 4 hours, was going to generate an exceptional amount of waste. The same is true for washable masks because they don’t last forever.

Is there any fog on the mask?

No, as we’ve been looking for the perfect mask, there is no fog on our mask, even when you are practicing sport.

Can I buy filters on your website after the campaign?

Yes, you’ll be able to buy filters on our website (civility-mask.com) when the Indiegogo campaign has finished.

The one question I couldn’t find the answer to is what kind of glass the masks are made of. Needless to say, I’d be a little concerned about the mask shattering in an accident.

At press time, the Civility Mask had $21,205 in funding on a $168,204 flexible goal with 34 days left to pledge. They’re expected to ship by September.