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Respro Filter Masks

by Mike P. Storke
February 1996

The name of the manufacturer is Respro, and they're out of London, England. The North American distributor is Boboli Imports out of Edmonton, Alberta. Their toll-free number is (800) 473-7776 (4-RESPRO), and toll number is (403) 448-0393. Once upon a time Respro and Greenscreen used to be the same company, but they broke up for some reason that I haven't had the chance to ask about (I can give you the London # for their HQ if you care to spend the money on the call!).

The masks themselves are made of a neoprene material very similar to computer mouse pads (this info per Deanne Carp, a 2-year user of the mask). The filter material itself comes in two forms: a HEPA-like filter for dusty conditions that filters down to sub-micron particles. The other filter is an active charcoal filter that is primarily for urban pollutants; this is the filter that MCS victims and those allergic to perfumes, gasoline, etc would be interested in. They plan, in 6 months or so, to introduce a filter that will combine the two above filters; everyone, including myself, can't wait as this would create a mask that would rival an industrial respirator with HEPA/ organic vapor cartridges.

As far as looks, they come in black (what I ordered), purple (what Deanne uses, apparently), red (someone else on this list mentioned one of these), and blue. As of my writing this, they only have black and blue (scarily ironic, eh?) in stock; you'll have to ask them about when they'll get more in stock. Physically, they look similar to a cross between the bottom part of a dirt bike helmet and one of those neoprene cold weather masks sold in ski shops. They also have two exhaust valves, one on each side, both to help with breathing resistance and with helping the filter last longer. The mask wraps around the lower portion of your face and attaches to itself with velcro at the back of the neck; Deanne says it holds VERY snug to your face, which makes sense since it was designed for athletes doing lots of physical activity. There is also the Sportsta mask, which comes with the HEPA filter rather than the active charcoal filter (though the filters are interchangable between masks), which comes standard with "sports" valves and has a much cooler-wearing design (i.e, the City mask is designed for cold weather; the Sportsta for warm weather).

I am aware that those who are allergic to rubber (neoprene in particular) won't be able to use this, but those who aren't allergic to rubber should be able to use this, and, IMHO, they should since they'll seal much better than the other masks being used out there--and thus, work better as well.

I do intend to do a scientific test when I receive this: a comparison between it and my North 7700 half-mask industrial respirator with HEPA/organic vapor cartridges. I will inform the list of my findings.

One last thing, it is curious that this list [note: poster is referring to mcs-immune] has the same home as the distributor of this mask! Maybe one of the locals there in Edmonton can pay these guys a visit? They're at 11203 63rd St.

Hope this helps you all! E-mail me with any other questions or just call them. And again, I wish to say that I have no affiliation with these guys except as a (hopefully soon) satisfied customer.

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