Skip to content

Producing face mask testing solution for NHS staff

SPECIFIC is working on a respirator fit-test solution for NHS doctors and nurses to ensure their PPE (personal protective equipment) is working effectively.

Following our work to manufacture 1,000L of hand sanitiser a day and reduce ambulance sanitation times, we are now producing a sodium saccharin solution to enable face mask testing for medical staff.

Solutions are used for respirator fit-tests, to make sure the respirator is safely and securely fitted when working with COVID-19 patients. By spraying the masks with a chemical mist and seeing whether staff can taste the solution, the tests can ensure that the respirators are working effectively without leakages. 

The sodium saccharin solution – made up of artificial sweetener and water – is being produced in our lab in Baglan by a team of volunteers.

There is currently a lack of face mask testing solution in the UK, meaning that doctors and nurses are forgoing vital fit-tests to ensure their PPE fits safely before treating infected patients.  

The Health and Safety Executive guidelines note that all hospital staff must undergo a fit-test before wearing a respirator for work. However, some hospitals are no longer doing these tests as there are shortages of fit-test solutions. 

SPECIFIC has the in-house equipment, entrepreneurship and scientific expertise needed to manufacture these solutions. 

Prof. Dave Worsley, who’s leading on the project, said:  

Share this post: