Same material, same protection. Now Biodegradable.
The Canadian Shield’s BioMask™ is a biodegradable* procedural face mask that can break down in the landfill. The BioMask™ has also been certified to meet ASTM F2100-20 requirements for medical-grade masks.
The BioMask™ aims to combat plastic medical waste by offering a product that can degrade in a landfill, thereby helping to reduce the massive environmental footprint left behind by medical PPE waste.
* Biodegradation rates of the BioMask™ nonwoven material measured according to the ASTM D5511-18 standard. The BioMask™, excluding the earloops and nosebridge, has been tested to biodegrade 6.5% in 45 days. The biodegradation rates may change based on the landfill conditions present.
Please visit the FAQ section at the bottom of this page for more information.
WHAT MAKES THE BIOMASK™ DIFFERENT?
• Biodegradable*: A proprietary additive in the mask's nonwoven material makes it biodegradable.
• Medical-grade (ASTM): The BioMask™ is certified to meet the ASTM F2100-20 standard for medical face masks.
• Anaerobic: The anaerobic biodegradability of the BioMask™ allows for degradation in the landfill.
June 15, 2021
Biodegradable & Medical-Grade: The Canadian Shield Announces BioMask™ Face Masks
The BioMask™ is made with a proprietary biodegradable nonwoven material that has been certified to meet ASTM F2100-20 requirements for medical-grade face masks.
Q: What’s the point of a biodegradable mask if it’s still supposed to go into the landfill?
A: The goal of biodegradable face masks is to lessen the impact of plastic on our environment as a result of PPE medical-waste. By creating the BioMask™, we're able to offer an environmentally conscious alternative to traditional disposable masks that's biodegradable*.
Q: Why is only the mask body biodegradable?
A: The BioMask™ body consists of 3 layers of our proprietary biodegradable* nonwoven material. While it’s our end goal to create a face mask that is 100% biodegradable, at the moment, the earloops and nose bridge of the mask are not made with biodegradable materials.
Even without a complete breakdown of the entire mask, a biodegradable mask body is a nontrivial way to achieve a reduction in the amount of landfill space required to dispose of single-use face masks. Considering the significant increase in the use of disposable face masks both at a national or global level, this is a large step in the right direction for our environment.
Q: How do you dispose of a BioMask™?
A: You can dispose of a BioMask™ the same way you would dispose of a traditional face mask - in the garbage. The BioMask™ proprietary blend of nonwoven material is made by incorporating an additive during the manufacturing process. Once in the landfill, the BioMask™ is exposed to microbes and enzymes which begin to eat away at the treated plastic.
Q: Is the additive used in the BioMask™ nonwoven material safe?
A: Yes! The proprietary additive used in the BioMask™ is incorporated during the manufacturing process of the nonwoven material, which makes up the mask body. This finished nonwoven material, with the additive, has been tested and passes biocompatibility requirements for ISO 10993. In simple terms, this means that the BioMask™, and the additive used to manufacture it, is safe for use on the human face.
Q: Is the BioMask™ a compostable face mask? What's the difference between compostable and biodegradable?
A: The BioMask™ is not a compostable face mask. The BioMask™ is designed to degrade anaerobically, meaning without oxygen. Once in the landfill, the BioMask™ is exposed to microbes and enzymes which begin to eat away at the treated plastic due to the proprietary additive in the material. In contrast, compostable face masks would rely on aerobic, or aboveground, decomposition, where oxygen can freely reach the waste in order to help it decompose.
Glossary of Terms & References
Anaerobic Biodegradation: Anaerobic biodegradation refers to the ability of the polypropylene material to breakdown without the presence of oxygen. In landfills, where waste is compacted layer upon layer, it can be difficult for oxygen to reach below the surface. The anaerobic properties of the BioMask™ provide the key components required for biodegradability in the landfill, which is where the majority of disposable PPE ends up.
ASTM: ASTM stands for the American Society for Testing and Materials. It is the governing body that sets the requirements for all sorts of products, including medical-grade face masks which fall under the ASTM F2100 standard.
*Biodegradation/Biodegradability: Biodegradation rates of the BioMask™ nonwoven material measured according to the ASTM D5511-18 standard. The BioMask™, excluding the earloops and nosebridge, has been tested to biodegrade 6.5% in 45 days. The biodegradation rates may change based on the landfill conditions present.
Nonwoven: Nonwoven refers to the type of process used to manufacture certain types of materials. Compared to ‘woven’ material such as cotton, polyester or other fabrics, nonwoven material is made up of long and short fibres which are bonded together instead of being intertwined or woven together.
1 Nsikak U. Benson, David E. Bassey, Thavamani Palanisami, COVID pollution: impact of COVID-19 pandemic on global plastic waste footprint, Heliyon, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2021, e06343, ISSN 2405-8440, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06343
2 Arutchelvi, J & Muniyasamy, Sudhakar & Arkatkar, Ambika & Doble, Mukesh & Bhaduri, Sumit & Uppara, Parasu. (2008). Biodegradation of polyethylene and polypropylene. Indian Journal of Biotechnology. 7. 9-22