A CUMBRIAN company has entered the coronavirus face mask market with a product it says is more effective than those worn by NHS staff.

The re-usable mask made by BrodPod, in Penrith, uses a woven spacer fabric designed to inhibit virus transmission through an inbuilt filtration system.

The company says the masks can be washed and dried for reuse and “scientific testing has confirmed their barrier protection properties are more effective than the FFP2 face masks worn by NHS staff”.

Helen Blackmore, who is co-director of the company alongside husband Ray, said this had been revealed when it was tested alongside several different designs of mask at Bournemouth University in May.

She said at present the company was not supplying the masks to NHS frontline workers, although it did not rule out doing so in the future.

"We do have vets, midwives, doctors' surgeries, hotels, construction workers and opticians all looking at using our masks," she said.

"The NHS have to do a lot of tests and that's not where we've gone at the moment, but that's not to say we couldn't in the future."

Ray added: “Face masks are fast becoming the new reality as the Government has now made it mandatory to wear a face covering in certain situations.

“Our masks uniquely incorporate ten millimetres of woven filament fabric and are structured to prevent the inner surface from coming into contact with the nostrils and mouth.

"That provides a greater barrier which may help to reduce the risk of high viral transmission into the respiratory tract.

“The masks are one size to fit most adults and older children.

"They are designed to make a seal around the lower face, are lightweight, pleasantly breathable and can be comfortably worn for some time.

"We can see them being worn a lot as you may not know when you meet someone if they are contagious.

"We are not claiming that our masks give 100 per cent protection and they are not intended for frontline health workers.

"We are, however, delighted to get a scientific evaluation on how much they can help.”