Nepal joins clamour for anti-pollution masks
Responding to the global air quality crisis, a Cambridge-based business has won £5.5 million in overseas business to countries like Nepal.
The Cambridge Mask Company’s product incorporates a filtration system developed by the UK’s Ministry of Defence – cutting out 99.6 per cent of viruses, 99.7 per cent of bacteria and 99 per cent of harmful gas & particulates.
Founded in 2015 and already big in China, the company has expanded exporting operations to an additional seven markets from India to Thailand and Europe to South Korea in 2019 alone.
Among new markets is Nepal, which has the worst air quality in the world according to the Environmental Performance Index (EPI); the masks will be worn by police officers in Kathmandu.
The firm also makes masks in a range of colours and artistic designs, meaning they are being bought by cyclists and urban residents protecting themselves from pollution.
Christopher Dobbing, CEO of the Cambridge Mask Company, said: “I launched the Cambridge Mask Company after working in Beijing, where I was shocked by children painting the sky grey and by the sickness resulting from air pollution.
“Rapid urbanisation and population growth have meant that people across the world, especially in countries like Nepal, are prone to sickness resulting from toxic air.
“I am pleased that our masks will now help police officers serve the Nepalese public while keeping them safe from almost 100 per cent of gas-based air pollution, harmful pathogens and particulate matter in the air.
“Globally, air pollution kills seven million people per year according to the WHO – more than murders, suicides and car crashes combined.
“There is a ready appetite for quality British products which can help with this problem, and we are grateful to the Department for International Trade for helping us take advantage of global opportunities for our company.”
The Department of International Trade gave the company crucial advice to help it solve logistical challenges and how best to work with distributors.
Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox MP, said: “It is great to see innovative British companies like the Cambridge Mask Company tackling global problems and helping safeguard the lives of people across the world.
“Despite the global headwinds, we’re starting to show what a real international trade policy can deliver for the UK by backing business and in jobs and investment.”
The Cambridge Mask Company also recently launched a $32,000 crowdfunding effort for a smart mask that can actively monitor the air quality of its users and tell its users when to change the mask filters.