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Respiratory Protection Week: Bringing greater awareness to the importance of mask wear

Respiratory Protection Week: Bringing greater awareness to the importance of mask wear

It may not have been marked on your calendar this year, but this week is Respiratory Protection Week. For the average person, it may not resonate as an important time, however once you learn that the standard N95 mask design that millions have been wearing during COVID-19 was created five decades ago, you may question how something has gone so long without a much innovation.

The reality is that innovation has occurred, but you just don’t yet know about it.

“Respiratory Protection Week 2021” promoted by The National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) was created specifically to bring greater awareness to the importance of respiratory protection, specifically N95s, and to illuminate the research, and standards developments underway in the area of respiratory protection.

With ongoing COVID virus woes, raging wildfire smoke, and looming concerns about airborne neurotoxins polluting the air we breathe, respiratory health should shoot to the top of the “concerns” list.

Respiratory protection remains the cornerstone of NPPTL’s efforts, cemented by a certification program that exists to improve the level of worker protection – miners, firefighters, construction, healthcare, agriculture and industrial workers—from airborne chemicals and vapors.

This is a cause that resonates deeply with us as OCTO® Safety Devices was founded with the singular goal of creating, manufacturing, and bringing to market the OCTO® Respirator Mask (ORM) an elastomeric respirator mask-- to protect wearers frequently in contact with air contaminated with toxins or airborne pathogens. Octo Safety Devices stands shoulder to shoulder with both NIOSH and NPPTL in support of workplace safety and innovation in respiratory protection.

Another September calendar event is 2021 National Preparedness Month serving as a rally cry about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. The 2021 theme was “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” Hundreds of thousands of our neighbors have been caught in the crosshairs of both natural and manmade disasters--Hurricane Ida and dozens of wildfires raging along the western seaboard to name a few.

The Octo Respirator Mask (ORM) also fits easily in a backpack or “go bag” can be used, sanitized (boiling water), and reused multiple times over its 10+ year shelf life. Most importantly, it delivers on the promise of filtered, breathable and toxin-free air.

If not exclusively to promote safety, these calendar events also help to build greater awareness about beneficial tools and solutions for individuals. We’re delighted that the calendar too includes days to celebrate our furry-four-legged friends (cat and dog-lovers unite!), but that is a topic for another day. Visit our science page  learn more about OCTO’s work to innovate respiratory protection.