Copolyester molded to make protective transparent shields, respirators

May 10, 2021

Splashblocker and Canopy announced they are helping to create transparent shields and respirators with Eastman Tritan copolyester, to provide greater protection, comfort, ease of use, and peace of mind for front-line workers and patients.

The Splashblocker is a transparent shield made with Tritan that is used to protect healthcare workers, patients, caregivers and visitors from the dangers of exposure to toilet plume aerosol. Invented by an oncology nurse, this novel barrier control reduces risk to healthcare professionals and other at-risk individuals from exposure to pathogens and harmful chemicals such as chemotherapeutics and antineoplastics, that are routinely encountered in healthcare settings when toilets are flushed. Tritan's cleanability and chemical resistance to 30-plus commonly used disinfectants was key to its selection by Splashblocker.

Canopy is a reusable, transparent respirator that uses Tritan for the housing of its patented filter core. Canopy was founded at the onset of COVID-19 in response to healthcare worker requests for an alternative to N95 respirators. Tritan enables the Canopy filter cartridge to be fully transparent, allowing for a clear front lens that provides a window into the user's facial expressions and emotions. Tritan also protects the filter core itself from any significant wear and tear, allowing it to have a long-lasting life span.

"Eastman has been exceptional to work with," said Brian P. Crawford, co-founder and CEO of Splashblocker. "Their expertise in manufacturing has been extremely helpful in the incorporation of injection molding to make the Splashblocker."

During its mold-building process, Canopy also worked closely with the Eastman technical team, experiencing their total-solutions approach to working with customers.

"The requirements for the resin used in this component were very specific," said Joe Rosenberg, founder and CEO of Canopy. "We were seeking a durable, chemically resistant and water-clear material. Finding a thermoplastic that was relatively inexpensive and met all those requirements proved challenging. Tritan strikes the balance beautifully."

Seeking input from critical stakeholders in the healthcare industry played a key role in the design and development of both The Splashblocker and Canopy. Creators of the Splashblocker have now carried out two very positive user-experience trials, with the most recent documented in a 2020 white paper with Premier Applied Sciences. Bioaerosols produced by toilet flushing contribute to environmental contamination and pathogen transmission in healthcare settings. This is an under-recognized infection prevention and control issue, rapidly gaining attention and focus. Crawford added,

"We are excited to have just received a Technology Breakthrough Agreement from Premier Inc. as a technology that reduces these exposures." Likewise, Eastman relies on input and collaboration across the value chain in the development of its medical grade polymers.

Eastman has the release

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