GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) - A professor at the Colorado School of Mines is trying to help Coloradans be environmentally friendly during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Back in April when the pandemic was really hitting, especially the Mines community where I teach, there was a lot of interest in PPE shortages. So face shields became one of the main ones I became aware of from students working on projects trying to fill the gap," said Dr. Jeffrey Ackerman.
He never really gave face shields a second thought before the pandemic, but when they became a part of his everyday life he finally took a look at them as an engineer.
"I realized that you can simplify face shield design substantially from a couple of different components down to one component."
In addition to figuring out how to make them easier and with less material, he also realized these things might start collecting in landfills.
"This isn't recyclable. The foam isn't recyclable. The elastic isn't recyclable. These little buttons aren't really recyclable, only this plastic shield itself is."
So he set out to not only create a face shield with a better design, but one that was ecofriendly.
"I did 40 different prototypes in my garage over the summer, and I eventually landed on this design," Ackerman said.
It's a functionally equivalent face shield with anti-fog coating and can be cleaned then reused easily. Plus, it's made out of recyclable plastic so when you do get rid of it, it won't create more waste.
"It really should offer the same protection," he said
He had his friends and family in the medical field test it out, and they said they couldn't tell the difference between the old one and his design. Plus, he teaches in it and personally likes the way it fits.
"It's comfortable to wear all day and it give me just more piece of mind."
LINK: The Eco Face Shield
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