- According to the CEO of a local company, Collingwood is “at the heart of the PPE revolutionary mask industry.”
- Trebor Rx is currently the only firm making a medical-grade face mask with the coating.
This month, a Collingwood factory has made 500,000 disposable face masks each day, thanks to new technology approved by Health Canada earlier this year.
Trebor Rx is located in Collingwood since its CEO, George Irwin is a Collingwood resident. In response to the pandemic, the facility was built.
Irwin and his wife contracted COVID-19 in March 2020. He claimed that they were sick for three weeks and that this inspired them to do something to help others.
Irwin’s family company in Irwin Toy, but when the provincial and federal governments asked Ontario companies to start producing personal protective equipment, Irwin responded by founding Trebor Rx. They began producing a new Zen Guard disposable mask on a limited basis in mid-September and have been producing 500,000 per day since the beginning of November, with plans to increase production next month.
They are manufacturing masks with a graphene treatment developed by ZenTek’s Guelph research department, which has a better filtration capability than conventional procedural masks and bactericidal properties.
Trebor operates a factory in Edmonton that makes the same masks as the Raglan Street facility. The Collingwood factory now 15 employees, and Irwin has announced that a second shift will begin in December.
The masks are three-layered, with the Zentek anti-microbial silver and graphene-oxide coating on one of the layers.
“As small as Collingwood is, it’s the epicenter of the PPE innovative mask sector right now,” Irwin explained. “Our masks are up there with the best in the world, which is impressive.”
According to Francis Dube, the company’s executive chairman, the graphene coating was designed at Zentek’s Guelph research lab after COVID-19 hit. Zentek and Trebor Rx had already completed the routine safety testing necessary for medical masks, as well as shedding testing at Health Canada’s request.
On September 28, Health Canada approved the sale of Trebor Rx’s Zen Guard disposable face mask in Canada. Dube stated that Zentek is working on further graphene oxide coating applications, including various PPE such as gowns, booties, and gloves.