Up until two weeks ago, we were working on launching the first batch of our air pollution masks in Asia within the next 30 - 60 days.
That plan was quickly derailed when news coverage began to emerge from BC on the growing wildfires. We began seeing images eerily similar to what we typically see coming out of most polluted cities in the world - people using various masks or materials, most of which are completely ineffective against particulate matter from smoke.
We mobilized as quickly as we could - first we flew out to our manufacturers to push up the shipping date and to arrange for packaging more suitable for emergency relief. Then our co-founder Rich Szasz headed out to BC to hand out 250 free masks. The response overwhelmed us. Being in the midst of the hardest hit areas, handing out masks to people who genuinely needed them, solidified why we do what we do and we want to continue.
THE SITUATION: Since April 1 British Columbia has experienced nearly 900 wildfires char more than 8450 square kilometers More than 14,000 people have been displaced, and air quality advisories have been noted in 14 regions across BC. We recognize the need right now within our own country for pollution masks and we have decided to pivot and to instead start with distributing masks to Canada first, to the people affected most by wildfire smoke in BC. We are asking for your help us do so.
THE PROBLEM: Hospital masks, generic dust masks, and scarves do not filter out the tiny particulate matter produced by smoke. This is particularly dangerous for the elderly, children, and those with respiratory illness such as asthma. Air quality will continue to be problematic once the fires are brought under control.
THE SOLUTION: Our mask the O2 Curve can help. Tests conducted at the University of Waterloo Air Pollution Research and Innovation Lab (APRIL Lab) have shown the O2 Curve to be effective against 98.6% of particulate matter which includes the tiny particulate matter from smoke.
￼ The O2 Curve
WHERE YOU COME IN: We need help to get our mask into the hands of these people. As a startup, we don't have the funds to provide the masks ourselves.
Every dollar you donate will go DIRECTLY to putting our masks in the hands of the people in BC needing protection from the smoke. We will be providing information on all of the details so you can be confident your funds are being used for this cause.
As an early stage pollution mask company we understand we are small but we also recognize we have a product that is in urgent need. If we can help even a few hundred fellow Canadians breathe clean air, we can't think of a better way to first distribute our product.
For more information on who we are and to connect with us please see:
- Emily Gray
- Sarah Humphries
- Sue Lewis
- Carol Jackson
Organizer and beneficiary