You can now shop for face shields and accessories online!
UNIVERSAL PLASTICS PROTECTIVE FACE SHIELD
Full facial coverage designed for your safety
Businesses, schools, medical facilities, and others are grappling with the difficult task of keeping staff safe while working effectively. The Universal Plastics Face Shield was developed specifically to meet this need.
PROVEN TO CONTAIN EXPOSURE
Face shields significantly reduce inhaled viral exposure to droplets – a simulation study by the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Hygiene showed a 96% reduction within 18 inches of a cough.1 Provides full facial protection of nose, mouth & eyes.
DESIGNED TO OPTIMIZE PROTECTION
Adheres to CDC’s recommendation that if face shields are used, they should wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend to below the chin.2 Eliminates face touching – masks need adjusting & are pulled down to talk which increases risk.
OFFERS MORE PROTECTION
Shield provides extra protection from airborne transmission by sealing forehead opening without interfering with movement. Eliminates need for plexiglass barriers in offices, retail stores and other places where interactions occur.
DURABLE & REUSABLE: ONLY 1 SHIELD NEEDED
Easy to clean shield (see p.2). Shield is made from 0.020 RPET – a sturdy, recycled FDA approved grade plastic material. It can easily be cleaned for reuse, which eliminates the need for purchasing multiple shields for one person.
COMFORTABLE TO WEAR ALL DAY
Light-weight design minimizes obstruction. Open top allows ventilation & prevents glasses from fogging up. Adjustable head-strap gives a secure & custom fit. Rotates & swings up for an adjustable position over the head while eating, etc.
PRACTICAL FOR COMMUNICATION
Transparency of the shield allows open communication without muffling the voice or hiding facial features & lip movements for speech perception.
Can you wear a face shield instead of a mask?
Guidelines vary state by state, but most agree that face shields are an acceptable alternative when masks are a hindrance. According to the CDC, if face shields are used, they should wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend to below the chin3, which our shields with the drape do. Remember to also social distance and wash your hands.
What are the dimensions of the shield?
10” long x 9” wide.
Does it require assembly?
No, it arrives fully assembled and individually bagged to prevent scratching.
How do you wash the shields?
CDC Guidelines are as follows and at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/eye-protection.html
1.While wearing gloves, carefully wipe the inside, followed by the outside of the face shield using a clean cloth saturated with neutral detergent solution or cleaner wipe.
2.Carefully wipe the outside of the face shield using a wipe or clean cloth saturated with EPA-registered hospital disinfectant solution.
3.Wipe the outside of face shield with clean water or alcohol to remove residue.
4.Fully dry (air dry or use clean absorbent towels).
5.Remove gloves and perform hand hygiene.
What’s the air flow like?
Since portions of the face shield are open, the shield is much cooler than a traditional facemask or N95. There is no foam
pad taking up the space between the shield and your forehead, so heat generated by the user can easily dissipate. The face
shield does not impede normal breathing and is not restrictive while in use.
Can you still be heard well?
The face shield allows communication without muffling voice or hiding expressions. While there is some noise reduction due
to the barrier, the shield has more open space for sound to travel farther compared to a cloth mask.
How long has someone worn one comfortably?
All day – as essential workers, Universal Plastics employees have been wearing them since we began production in March – see pics below of our family! The shield is lightweight and comfortable, does not fog up even with eye-glasses & the adjustable strap made from soft bungee cord allows a custom fit.
Is it dishwasher safe?
No – however, it can be cleaned per instructions above. The shield may distort in higher temp. water settings – some dishwashers have a “sanitize” mode which uses elevated temp. water artificially heated by coils in the washer which may distort the plastic shield. In addition, dishwasher detergent is extremely abrasive & may scratch or cloud the shield surface.
Should the shield be left in a hot car?
Ambient temperature of the interior of a car in the hot sun with the windows closed can climb above 130 degrees. Extended periods where the outside temp. is approx. 100 deg., it may even exceed 170 degrees. Shields exposed to this heat for extended periods may warp simply due to the weight of the shield itself. It should not be left in a hot car for extended periods.
- Lindsley WG, Noti JD, Blachere FM, Szalajda JV, Beezhold DH. Efficacy of face shields against cough aerosol droplets from a cough simulator. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2014;11(8):509-518.
- Eli N. Perencevich, MD, MS; Daniel J. Diekema, MD, MS; Michael B. Edmond, MD, MPH, MPA. Moving Personal Protective Equipment Into the Community. JAMA Network, 2020
- Dennis Thompson. Covid face shields replace masks in preventing COVID-19?. Medical Xpress, 2020
Made in Holyoke MA USA
CONTACT US TO PLACE AN ORDER
Phone: 413-592-4791 x 116
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SUPPORTING ARTICLES ON FACE SHIELDS
Face shields that wrap around the face and extend below the chin can be considered as an alternative where cloth face coverings would hinder the learning process. Some situations where face shields would be useful include:
• When interacting with students, such as those with disabilities, where communication could be impacted
• When interacting with English-language learners or when teaching a foreign language.
• Settings where cloth masks might present a safety hazard (i.e. science labs)
• For individuals who have difficulty wearing a cloth face covering
Fauci Says Face Shields Good Idea for Teachers Back in Schools
Children ages 10 to 19 can spread Covid-19 as easily as adults, and it might be a good idea for teachers to wear face shields if they return to the classroom, Anthony Fauci said in an interview Monday.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said data clearly shows older children can be spreaders and that there is “a reasonable assumption” to be made that the high viral loads seen in some very young children means they too can transmit the virus, even though they’re less likely to get seriously ill.
“Any mucousal surface is susceptible” to the virus, Fauci said in response to online questioning about face shields from Howard Bauchner, the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Fauci’s comments come with new U.S. cases rising. Fauci said there’s progress being made in developing treatments to help keep early disease from advancing, and highlighted two trials for monoclonal antibodies. One will be for outpatients in the early stages of the disease and the other for hospitalized patients who aren’t yet severely ill.
To limit growth of the virus, states seeing an “insidious increase” in positive tests don’t necessarily need to close down as tightly as they did early in the pandemic, according to Fauci. But he said they must intensify the push toward mask-wearing and other public health imperatives.
“It’s in our hands,” Fauci said, noting that he was pleased that President Donald Trump has been wearing a mask more in public. “We need more of that consistency,” he said.
On the question of vaccines, Fauci said “everything needs to be “transparent” to get the backing of the public for any successful effort. He said independent data monitoring boards will be closely reviewing the trials as they play out over the next few months, and all of their findings should be available.
But both he and JAMA’s Bauchner expressed concern that recent positive news releases related to vaccines were issued too early. Bauchner asked if that’s a practice that should be restrained.
“I think that’s a good idea,” Fauci responded, but he said he’s been told by companies that the releases are needed to meet U.S. financial regulations.
COVID FACE SHIELDS REPLACE MASKS IN PREVENTING COVID-19?
(HealthDay)—Face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but some people find them awkward, uncomfortable or downright unbearable to wear.
There’s another good option available for people who just can’t get used to strapping on a face mask while out in public, experts say.
Plastic face shields offer another means of deterring COVID-19 that some might find easier, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore.
They’re clear plastic or plexiglass shields that cover the entire face, from the forehead down to the chin or lower. An elastic headband holds the shield in place.
Face shields have been shown to reduce viral exposure by 96% when worn within 18 inches of a cough, and by 92% at the currently recommended 6 feet of social distancing, according to a recent editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“Face shields may supplant these masks, eventually,” Adalja said. “I think there’s much more evidence supporting their use.”
While not as popularly promoted as face masks, face shields are available for purchase online. Amazon offers many different brands of face shields, including one developed by its own engineers.
Shields offer a number of benefits over masks, but also a few drawbacks, experts said.
Because they extend down from the forehead, shields protect the eyes as well as the nose and mouth, said Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center. Viruses can enter the body through the eyes.
Adalja noted that face shields also can be more comfortable for people to wear. “It feels less obstructive on their mouth and nose than a mask,” he said.
Esper pointed out that “you don’t get to feel the breeze on your face, but you do get some fresh air, rather than trying to breathe through a cloth mask.”
Person-to-person communication is better with a face shield. People can see your whole face through the shield, making it easier for folks to talk, Adalja said.
“Many people when they’re talking to people will take off their mask or bring it down. People reflexively do that because their voice is muffled by the mask,” Adalja said. “You can see people’s facial expressions much better with a face shield.”
The shields are relatively lightweight and comfortable to wear. They’re also reusable, if a person takes the time to clean them with an antibacterial wipe or soap and water after an outing, Adalja and Esper said.
Esper stressed that regular cleaning will be necessary because one drawback of the shields is that they provide an apt surface upon which the virus can survive.
“We know this virus likes to live on plastic a lot better than it likes to live on porous materials like cloth, paper or cardboard,” he explained.
The type of protection a face shield provides is also very different from that of face masks, the experts said.
Masks protect others around you from germs you are carrying. Face shields do the opposite, protecting you from being infected by the people around you.
“It protects you, the wearer,” Esper said. “But if you cough, because this face shield is away from your face, those droplets can still get out better than if you have a mask on, where they basically get sucked up by the mask itself.”
Doctors working with sick people wear both a face mask and a face shield, and the combination offers the best protection against viral spread, Esper said.
However, Esper and Adalja think average folks should be able to use either device by itself.
“Folks out in the community are having a hard enough time with one or the other, let alone asking them to wear both,” Esper said.
SOME EXPERTS SAY FACE SHIELDS BETTER THAN MASKS FOR CORONAVIRUS PROTECTION
By now we know we should be wearing face masks to protect others from potentially deadly infection when we leave the house. But face masks can be hot, and they can irritate the skin, fog glasses, make it difficult for some to breathe and create a world without smiles. It also can be difficult for people who have hearing loss to communicate when mouths are covered, muffling voices and hiding facial expressions.
Are clear plastic face shields, most frequently used in health care settings, a better option?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend wearing “cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” But some health experts say shields appear to be very effective at preventing infection — maybe even more effective than masks — for someone going about regular daily activities and not in a high-risk health care setting.
Amesh Adalja, M.D., a pandemic preparedness expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, says, “There’s a lot of at least biological possibility to suspect that [shields] are definitely better than homemade face masks, and maybe even better than other types of masks as well, because they not only prevent you from spreading it … [and] because it also covers your eyes, it provides more protection to the mucus membranes of your face where you might be getting infected.”
James Cherry, M.D., a distinguished research professor and infectious disease expert at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says that while experts aren’t yet sure about how vulnerable our eyes are to infection from this coronavirus, “With many viruses, the eyes are important.” He points to measles and adenoviruses as examples of viruses that are known to infect people through their eyes.
Another benefit, says Adalja: With a mask, you may find yourself constantly adjusting it and therefore touching your face and possibly transferring the virus from your hands, but wearing a shield “doesn’t really put you in a position where you’re touching your face so much, because it’s not as cumbersome to wear.”
And finally, Adalja adds, “If you walk down the sidewalk, you can find lots of masks that are just discarded there, which are an infection control risk for other people. Whereas a face shield is something that people can just clean themselves and reuse.”
A recent opinion piece in JAMA by Eli Perencevich, M.D., a professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and two of his colleagues pointed to such benefits of shields for infection prevention, and noted that “face shields appear to significantly reduce the amount of inhalation exposure to influenza virus, another droplet-spread respiratory virus. In a simulation study, face shields were shown to reduce immediate viral exposure by 96 percent when worn by a simulated health care worker within 18 inches of a cough.” In an April 19 tweet Perencevich wrote, “Biggest benefit of face shields would be inside crowded office situations where air exchanges aren’t ideal.”
Another benefit? With warmer weather, many may also find a face shield attached to a headband or cap cooler to wear than a cloth mask.
Some members of the public are taking such arguments to heart — choosing shields especially for their ability to keep the entire face visible.
Lauren Lek, head of school at Academy of Our Lady of Peace, in San Diego, plans to have her 750 returning faculty and students wear face shields at school rather than masks this August. “Safety and health for our community is a priority for us in reopening,” she says. “As soon as we saw from the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and our local public health office that face shields would be an acceptable alternative to face masks, we knew this was a direction we wanted to move in.”
Noting that face-to-face interaction is key to the education her school provides, Lek adds that face shields are better than masks for students with learning differences, including autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), because they allow for full visibility of facial expressions that can help them read and understand social cues.
The school has purchased more than 10 different types of face shields to test before classes restart, Lek says, with each posing challenges in terms of clarity, fogging, ease of cleaning and reuse. They also shouldn’t cause headaches when worn 10 hours a day. “With each product we try, we are getting closer to the best option for the start of school in August.”
Some people are choosing both infection-prevention methods. Hope Taitz, an investment manager in New York City who travels frequently for business, began wearing a face mask and face shield together when she saw the pandemic starting to unfold while logging 100,000 miles of travel in January and February. She said one of the best things she saw traveling in Asia were deep bubble umbrellas that can cover you from head to midsection.
You’re likely to find only health care workers wearing both a shield and a mask simultaneously, however. “I don’t wear the shield alone,” says Anne Mary Orr, a dentist in private practice in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. “At work, the whole point of the shield is to keep particulate matter off the mask. The N95 mask I wear under it helps filter breathing the virus. Our greatest risk is to inhale an aerosol at work, more so than focusing on the droplets.”
Kristi Carnahan, a registered nurse in the Emergency Department at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California, says she also wears a mask beneath her plastic face shield to provide more “protection against anything in the air getting into your mouth or nose as you breathe.”
That reasoning may make sense in a health care setting, says Adalja, but “I don’t think you get much added benefit to wearing a mask if you’ve already got a face shield on, for the average person.” The odds of the viral particles floating upwards under your shield are a long shot for most of us, he adds: “Someone would have to stand underneath you and sneeze up into you. It would be an odd circumstance that would cause that.”
Keeping the mouth visible
Carnahan acknowledges that masks are difficult for people like herself who have hearing difficulties. She says she finds herself asking colleagues to repeat themselves frequently when she cannot see their mouths. “It is a reality for many who rely on lip reading or ASL [American Sign Language] that masks make communicating much harder,” she notes, “especially because facial expressions are an integral part of American Sign Language.”
While it doesn’t explicitly recommend the use of face shields, The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) recently sent a letter to CDC Director Robert Redfield asking the agency to emphasize the need for clear face masks and other communication aids in health care settings to help people with hearing and other communication disorders. “If a patient doesn’t hear/understand properly, there could be serious consequences like adverse medical events,” says ASHA spokesperson Francine Pierson. Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, for one, has begun using special masks with transparent cutouts making the mouth visible for health care workers speaking to patients with hearing loss.
Whatever you decide to wear to prevent infection when you’re out and about, keep in mind that staying safe from COVID-19 means putting in place multiple safeguards, including thorough handwashing.
The most important safety measure, though, is social distancing, Cherry says. “The virus is in these droplets, and they don’t go very far — they fall to the ground. So that’s why [staying] 6 feet away from others is the most important thing that we can all do.”
Where to buy shields
Shields come attached to hats or attach to glasses or headbands. You can buy them online, often for less than $20, at sites such as Gearbest, Pro-Tex and Amazon. Some manufacturers, like RealShield by Racing Optics Inc., are making face shields with UV coatings.
“For optimal protection,” Perencevich and his colleagues assert in their JAMA article, “the shield should extend below the chin anteriorly, to the ears laterally, and there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece.”
WILL A FACE SHIELD PROTECT YOU FROM CORONAVIRUS?
We’ve been doing the mask mambo for months now. Some of us can wear them effortlessly while others…ehhh, well. Let’s just say this new accessory has added a little frustration to some of our daily activities. But whether we like it or not, masks aren’t going away anytime soon.
What’s the alternative to foggy glasses, dragon breath, a mask that travels all over your face or just being a hot, sweaty mess all the time? If you aren’t afraid to stand out in a crowd and don’t mind taking a bolder route when it comes to personal protective equipment options, a face shield might be the way to go.
What is a face shield?
During the early days of the pandemic, we all probably laughed at images or videos of people who were wearing plastic water jugs on their heads or putting pot lids in the front of their hoodies to protect themselves from COVID-19. Well, despite their viral moments, those people were kind of on to something.
Face shields have been used in healthcare settings for a while now. They recently became a staple for medical personnel who have to intubate patients with COVID-19. But face shields are often worn during a wide variety of medical procedures. This includes surgeries or any procedure where bone fragments, blood or other bodily fluids could get into the eyes, nose and mouth.
A face shield is simply a curved plastic or Plexiglas panel that can be worn over the face. If you’re having a hard time picturing one, think of those old-school transparent visors that you might have rocked in the summer — or a new-school music festival visor that you rock now. A face shield is kind of like that, except the visor part slants down to cover your face and extends slightly beyond the chin.
“Because they extend down from the forehead, shields protect the eyes as well as the nose and mouth,” says pediatric infectious disease specialist Frank Esper, MD. The coverage that face shields offer is ideal since the new coronavirus can enter the body through those points.
Are face shields effective?
A 2014 study showed that when tested against an influenza-infused aerosol from a distance of 18 inches away, a face shield reduced exposure by 96% during the period immediately after a cough. The face shield also reduced the surface contamination of a respirator by 97%.
“It protects you, the wearer,” Dr. Esper says. “But if you cough, because this face shield is away from your face, those droplets can still get out better than if you have a mask on.”
What are the advantages of wearing a face shield?
If you’re tired of struggling with a mask or don’t enjoy having a pocket of hot air on your face for long periods of time, a face shield offers protection and the sweet relief of fresh air. “You don’t get to feel the breeze on your face, but you do get some fresh air, rather than trying to breathe through a cloth mask,” says Dr. Esper. It’s also easier to talk and most importantly, people can still see your face during interactions.
Another plus? Not having to adjust anything.
With masks, we feel the need to touch our faces more. We also find ourselves adjusting them or even pulling them down to talk to people (which we shouldn’t do). Face shields take all of this out of the equation. Most styles are attached to an elastic headband and are easy to wear. You can even wear glasses (minus the fog) or hats with them.
Face shields are reusable, reasonably priced and easy to clean. Dr. Esper suggests cleaning them with an antibacterial wipe or soap and water.
What are the disadvantages of wearing a face shield?
As mentioned earlier, masks absorb droplets when we sneeze or cough. Face shields don’t. Dr. Esper stresses that should you decide to wear a face shield, you’ll need to sanitize it frequently.
“We know this virus likes to live on plastic a lot better than it likes to live on porous materials like cloth, paper or cardboard,” he says. So again, clean your face shield once you take it off. You can sterilize it with an antibacterial wipe, alcohol pad or good old soap and water.
Do you need to wear a face shield and a face mask together?
While surgeons and other skilled medical professionals wear face shields over face masks, it’s not necessary for the average person to do so. However, it’s good to keep social distancing guidelines in mind when wearing your face shield in public to maximize its effectiveness.
If your face shield cracks or becomes damaged, don’t continue to use it. Many places offer face shields in bulk. This makes it easier for you to pitch the damaged face shield and move on to the next one.
Face Shields May Be Next Step to Prevent COVID
May 29, 2020 — Face masks have become commonplace in the effort to combat COVID-19, but some doctors say it is time to take protection a step further and try full face shields as restrictions slowly begin to loosen.
Face shields are nothing new in medical settings — doctors and nurses who treat coronavirus patients are using them along with standard face masks. Health care professionals are split on whether they should also be worn by children, teachers, and in offices while states reopen.
“Face shields appear to have a number of advantages: They’re easy to wear correctly and good at blocking droplets,” says Eli Perencevich, MD, an infectious disease doctor at the University of Iowa and the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System. “They’re really a better option for protection.”
Some experts believe wearing face shields may help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by protecting the wearer from droplets carrying the virus.
Perencevich and his colleagues published a report in JAMA last month, arguing that face shields have more COVID-fighting potential than standard masks when used with increased testing, contact tracing, and social distancing.
A few things make shields superior, he says. For one, many people wear masks that don’t fit well, so they don’t work as well. They also prompt people to touch their faces more, increasing the risk of viral spread. They leave much to be desired in terms of comfort, he says, and they make it harder to breathe.
Shields come with the perk of being easily sanitized and reused, says Keith Kaye, MD, a professor of medicine and director of research for the division of infectious diseases at the University of Michigan Medical School.
Unlike masks, clear shields also allow for better communication — people can read facial expressions, and those who are hearing impaired can read lips, he says.
“I do think we’re going to see more and more face shield use,” Kaye says. “Particularly as COVID continues to cause problems.”
While there is not a lot of data on how well masks work, one recent study in China found that wearing a mask at home reduced transmission to other members of the same household by nearly 80%.
Shields, meanwhile, have been found to successfully block droplets. One cough simulation study in 2014 found that a shield may reduce exposure by 96% when worn within 18 inches of someone coughing.
In addition, face masks are not meant to protect the wearer — they leave other vulnerable parts of the face exposed, like the eyes. They are meant to keep an asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic person from spreading it to others.
But not all doctors are sold on everyday use of more extreme protective gear. Dan Kuritzkes, MD, chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, says the eye coverage that shields provide is likely not necessary for people unless they are providing medical care to COVID-19 patients.
“In theory, it may be possible that particles could land in someone’s eye and cause infection, but we don’t have good evidence that happens,” he says. “I think the bottom line is for the general public, there’s no reason to be wearing face shields.”
He also says they may not help prevent airborne transmission, because air that has droplets in it could get sucked under the shield from the bottom opening.
Face shields are important in health care settings because, in those situations, mucous membranes around the caregivers’ eyes that could come into contact with harmful droplets while they do procedures like intubation, says Timothy Brewer, MD, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Medicine.
As long as everyone abides by recommendations to wear a face mask, that risk won’t exist for non-health care workers.
“It could potentially get in someone’s eyes if someone sneezes — that’s why the person sneezing should also be wearing a mask,” Brewer says.
Meanwhile, other parts of the world are embracing the use of face shields outside of hospitals. School children in Singapore are being given face shields as they head back to classes in the coming days.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America has listed widespread use of protective gear, including face shields, in the process of lifting restrictions, but the CDC still recommends just face masks for people outside the health care realm.
Still, people and companies have jumped in to help supply shields to both health care workers and other people at higher risk of catching the virus.
Amazon announced this month that its engineers are developing face shields to sell on its site after donating almost 10,000 to people on the front lines.
Other efforts have come from everyday citizens. Katherine Marcano-Bell and her family have converted part of their 1,300-acre pig farm into a shield-making operation, and have delivered them to hospitals, clinics, meatpacking plants, and families who have made specific requests for them.
“I think it wouldn’t hurt to wear one, especially if you’re sick or immunocompromised,” Marcano-Bell says.