13th May 2021 – (Hong Kong) Lingnan University has developed a reusable, fully transparent filter mask with a protection specification that meets ASTM Level 3 standards. It is hoped that even if everyone wears a mask during the epidemic, the hearing impaired can still read the lips and observe the facial expressions of others to conduct daily communication. The registered social worker Chan Mei-ling, Director of Service Coordination of the Hong Kong Society for the Deaf, said that there are currently about 150,000 hearing impaired people in Hong Kong. People with varying degrees of hearing impaired need to read lip language. Even with sign language, it is necessary to observe the the other party’s facial expressions to understand the speaker’s speech during the epidemic. Everyone needs to wear surgical masks during epidemic, which prevents the hearing impaired from receiving information and hearing impaired people reported that they feel isolated from the outside world.
Dr. Albert Ko, Director of Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative at Lingnan University pointed out that many transparent masks currently on the market do not meet the epidemic prevention specifications, while translucent masks with virus filtering function have problems such as reflection, fog and displacement of the transparent part. The fully transparent filter mask developed this time not only effectively filters viruses, but also refers to the reflection principle of stealth fighters to solve the problem of light reflection and help the hearing impaired to observe the mouth and expression of the wearer when speaking.
The newly developed fully transparent filter mask uses a high-efficiency particle air filter, reaching the level of ASTM third level. The transparent shell is coated with an anti-virus coating that is effective for up to 8 months. It only needs 70% alcohol to clean the shell daily and replace the filter every week to be reused. The research team hopes to raise HK$1.5 million to produce 100,000 fully transparent filter masks so that the hearing impaired can obtain information fairly and achieve barrier-free communication.