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The ultimate mask: Terramin brings mining solution to farm and factory

If it works in a mine, it will work everywhere! The recent COVID-19 lockdown has seen a massive increase in the wearing of masks, improved practices of personal hygiene and more awareness of personal and environmental safety.

Cheap masks available on street corners are not the best answer, especially for workers in environments where there are fine dust particles, such as feed factories and grain silos. Terramin CEO, Martin van Schoor, says there is a better solution. The Koplap™ looks like a balaclava and was developed to minimise the inhalation of harmful particles and the spreading of viral/bacterial infected mucous droplets onto persons nearby.

The Koplap™ concept was first tested in diamond mines to assist miners with an improved, and more comfortable and functional head-worn option than disposable face masks. The purpose is to mitigate the inhalation of harmful dust and particles off a dry drilling operation, and to reduce the risks accompanied with the inhalation of additional gases and vapours.

Martin says: “Disposable masks appear to be inefficient. This is probably due to the variation in facial topography as well as ear and facial discomfort, and muffling of speech requiring the masks to be removed. Another problem is the handling of disposed items and the piling up of used and possibly infected masks or other personal protection equipment (PPE), posing some serious health issues.

Municipal and other waterworks and sewers are now apparently becoming clogged up fabric type PPE. This is alarming to say the least. The items appear not to be readily biogradable or re-cyclable. The Koplap™ also serves to reduce the incidence of folliculitis which affects especially miners wearing hard/safety hats. The humid environment within and under the headwear appears to foster infection. Covering a user’s scalp with a cloth-like material dramatically reduces such infections.

The Koplap™ can be used over and over as washing it with soap and water is easy (while showering/bathing after a work shift). It is then hung out to dry for the next day’s use. In this situation there is NO disposal or waste handling, and in addition, no problems with the accumulation of any infected PPE. Many users in fact wet the Koplap™ before use to have a damp, cool effect and extra neck protection. A damp Koplap™ has also been seen to better capture airborne particles. Wearing a damp Koplap™ during hot weather can also have a cooling and comforting effect.

The Koplap™ is manufactured locally in South Africa using plant-based fibres. The fabric is bi-directionally orientated – meaning that it can stretch in both directions. It is available in several colours (depending on available stock), and can be printed with company slogans and regalia for advertising and safety awareness purposes.

It can also be fitted with mesh eye protection and a non-return valve over the mouth to prevent fogging of spectacles. In line with a government directive, a three-fabric layer can easily be mustered to cover the nose and mouth area to assist in filtration and minimise the projection of infected mucous droplets when a user coughs, sneezes, or breathes heavily. The KopLap does not impair speech, and the user’s ears are not placed under additional discomfort with elastic tags.

Make sure you order the real KoplapTM and not a copy! Contact Martin van Schoor at 082-551-5047, 012-346-5183 or mvs@terramin.co.za, and visit www.terramin.co.za for more information.

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