Pmask coverings likely to suit meat plant workers, founder says

Dave Manning claims masks cost fraction of other full face options in Covid-19 fight

The Pmask was designed in Ireland by the Irish Manufacturing Research Centre and Cork’s Tyndall Institute.

The Pmask was designed in Ireland by the Irish Manufacturing Research Centre and Cork’s Tyndall Institute.

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Meat plants “jump out” as a prime target for a new face mask designed to protect wearers from Covid-19, according to a founder of the company producing them.

“Meat plants jump out as an area where they would be very applicable because of the moist, cold environment,” said Dave Manning, whose Pmask business sells the full face masks designed in Ireland.

His comments come as four meat-processing plants in Kildare and Offaly remain closed after becoming sites for clusters of coronavirus cases.

The spike in cases attributed to the meat plants has seen the Government impose a local lockdown of the two counties, and neighbouring Laois.

Scaling up supply

Mr Manning, who founded Pmask with Joe Joyce, says the masks are available at a fraction of the cost of other full face mask options, making them a viable option for companies struggling to meet the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other Covid measures.

The company says it can scale up supplies of the mask very quickly as orders materialise.

A supply of masks have also been sent out to Tanzania, where Irish doctor Trish Scanlan is testing them at a paediatric cancer hospital unit she runs there. Mr Manning hopes the devices will prove a viable option for hospitals in Africa which he says have been struggling to secure PPE in the face of competition from richer countries.

Mullingar parts

Designed in Ireland by the Irish Manufacturing Research Centre and Cork’s Tyndall Institute, the masks are manufactured in China with filters and plugs coming from other parts of the world, including a local supplier in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

Mr Manning says he has had calls from the United States where a local distributor is looking at demand from helicopter transit services for oil rig workers as well as from meat plants, sports physios and hairdressers.

The company founders are both former executives with Flex, better known by its former name Flextronics, which is one of the world’s biggest contract manufacturers.

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