PPE developer on N95 masks: 70% of what you breathe is not filtered

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve all been learning new words and phrases, and one of those is PPE — personal protective equipment. Well, Ron Mitchell knew all about that decades before the rest of us, because he helped develop it.

While covering an anti-mask event in Cobourg, I ran into Ron, and our conversation was so interesting, we’ve decided to show you the whole thing. If anyone is qualified to explain how masks work (or don’t), it’s Ron Mitchell.

For 30 years, Ron assisted in developing PPE for the nuclear industry: plastic suits, hoods, electric shock resistant footwear, a diffusion sampler and, of course, masks.

Within the nuclear station, a reactive component called tritium poses a danger to workers. They need to wear a tightly sealed and fit tested gas mask. These masks have cartridges to filter out this dangerous compound, and his role in developing them is why today’s Mitchell-Tritium cartridge is named after him.

Like I told you: Ron’s an expert!

The efficacy of the Mitchell-Tritium cartridge is based entirely on the proper seal and fit test of the mask, something he clearly notes isn’t happening with the kinds of masks that so many people are wearing today.

WATCH as he goes through the three different types of mask he sees people wearing, and explains how even the highly touted N95 masks, while useful in some situations, are not effective for preventing the spread of COVID-19 itself. Ron explains all this in laymen’s language — it’s really eye-opening!