Redefining respiratory protection

Optrel is synonymous with high-quality Swiss-made welding helmets and respiratory protection. Welders, metal fabricators, shipbuilders, construction workers and other industrial workers rely on optrel welding hoods, PAPRs (powered air-purifying respirators) and N95s to keep them safe and protected at work.

For years, optrel has sold the P.Air N95, a disposable N95 respirator that protects from metal fumes, dust, and fine particles for soldering, welding, sanding and grinding processes. These disposable N95s help keep welders and metal fabricators safe from hazards that can lead to serious health problems if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

While optrel’s core market hasn’t changed, the pandemic forced businesses worldwide to re-evaluate worker protection for all employees. Though NIOSH-approved N95 masks offer the highest protection against airborne toxins, traditional N95s aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

Mask-wearing can impede communication, especially for those who rely on lip-reading and non-verbal cues. While we all depend on visual communication to some extent, specific segments of the population, including the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, senior citizens, people with cognitive disabilities, speech and language pathologists (SLPs), ASL interpreters, aphasia speech therapists and others, require visual cues to communicate effectively.

From welders to ASL interpreters

If you’re asking yourself what motivated a company dedicated to improving the lives of welders to make a product that served an entirely new market segment, you’re not alone.

In a recent interview, Grant Cooper, CEO of optrel inc., told PBN that optrel’s mission is “to be the innovation leader in everything we do.” Considering this, it’s no surprise that Cooper and the leaders at optrel AG in Switzerland recognized the need for an innovative solution and used the company’s expertise in respiratory protection to develop the world’s first N95 respiratory with a transparent window.

Cooper explains, “Some of our welders and distributors were surprised to learn about the P.Air Clear N95 mask. Still, the pandemic taught us many lessons. Most importantly, it showed us that our reach extends outside the industrial sector. Doctors and dentists started ordering optrel PAPRs, and everyone was looking for N95s—from professionals in pediatric speech therapy to ASL interpreters, school teachers and more.”

The acclaimed P.Air Clear N95 mask provides maximum protection against airborne particles and has a transparent window for an unobstructed view of the wearer’s mouth and lips. This window makes it possible to connect with others through a smile, an essential part of non-verbal communication that we forgo when wearing traditional N95 masks.

Smiling signals to others that we’re friendly and open to communication. It also helps establish trust and rapport—even before the conversation begins. For this reason, The P.Air Clear N95 is an optimal choice for communicating with those with cognitive issues such as dementia and autism. While the P.Air Clear N95 respirator is suitable for anyone who wants to improve communication while wearing a mask, certain professionals consider the mask a non-negotiable, including:

Whether you’re an ASL interpreter, a speech and language pathologist, or you work in pediatric speech therapy or a residential care facility, the P.Air Clear mask is a long-overdue addition to your occupational toolkit.

The Clear Solution for Protection and Connection

The demand for the P.Air Clear N95 mask continues to grow, even as the end of the public health emergency approaches. As COVID-19 becomes an ongoing part of the infectious disease landscape, employers and individuals continue to adapt their approach to personal protection.

At optrel, the focus continues to be innovation and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to provide workers with the best Swiss-made personal protective equipment. The company continues to think outside the box to make a difference in people’s lives.

The Optrel N95 mask with a clear window in front of the mouth is approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The P.Air Clear is available online in a pack of 20 masks or as a bulk pack of 180 masks. The P.Air Clear is also available on Amazon.