The colorful Scottish label could solve the dilemma of this mask

After studying a tickling question during the Covid-19 pandemic, Scottish researchers say they broke the problem when you need to remove a face mask.

a person sitting on a bench talking on his mobile phone: a Scottish company has developed a label that changes color when it's time to throw away your mask

A Scottish company has developed a label that changes color when it’s time to throw away your face mask

Facial masks require frequent rotations to remain effective, but little care has been taken if people change them regularly enough, said Graham Skinner, an engineer at the Scottish company Insignia Technologies.

The company has developed a color-changing label when it’s time to dispose of masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

The labels “use a range of smart pigments and inks that can change color when exposed to CO2 (carbon dioxide),” Skinner told AFP at the company’s laboratory in Motherwell, near Glasgow.

“When the pandemic started and there was confusion about when to throw a face mask, we decided to use technology to develop a color-changing label that could be suitable for application on PPE, such as face masks. and aprons. ”

“The label’s time temperature indicator is activated when packages are opened and the label is attached to the PPE, such as masks and aprons. It then changes color to indicate when the recommended timeout has been reached,” Skinner said.

The labels are yellow at first and gradually turn blue as they deteriorate in effectiveness. The color change process can take four to six hours.

The labels can be used on disposable or reusable masks.

Dr Ignazio Maria Viola, a physicist at the University of Edinburgh School of Engineering, said that covering the mouth was extremely effective in stopping the spread of the virus, but noted that there were opportunities for “massive innovation”.

“Early research has shown that the transmission is complete by expired drops from the person’s mouth, and in fact, the face mask can really prevent this from dispersing,” he told AFP.

“What we’ve learned this year has definitely changed the way we design and manufacture face coatings in the future,” he said.

“There are so many things we know now that we didn’t know them eight months ago.”

Facial masks could be designed to target specific droplet sizes, he said.

“In the future, we will be able to design a mask that filters out exactly the drops that can carry the virus.”

In August, researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that someone without a mask who was two meters from a person who was coughing was exposed to 10,000 times more drops of the virus than someone who was wearing a mask half a meter from a person who was coughing. cough.

Tests found that the number of drops was more than 1,000 times lower when wearing even a single-layer cotton mask.

“I knew that face masks made of various materials are effective to a different extent in filtering small drops,” said Viola.

“However, when we looked specifically at those larger drops that are thought to be the most dangerous, we found that even the simplest single-layer cotton mask made by hand is extremely effective.

“Therefore, wearing a face mask can really make a difference.”

srg / am / wai

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