DOST solves PPE material supply shortage with bamboo-framed face shields

DOST PPE face shields
The bamboo-framed face shield addresses the shortage of raw material supply brought on by the lockdown. Photo from DOST-FPRDI.

The Department of Science and Technology – Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) is solving the PPE material supply shortage due to the lockdown by developing face shields made from local bamboo.

The science and technology agency’s newest innovation addresses the need for products that could help keep frontliners and people safe from the coronavirus disease.

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Despite having many of its regular forest researches and activities limited by the community quarantine, DOST-FPRDI produced at least 340 bamboo-framed face shields which were turned over to the University of the Philippines Los Baños, some barangays in Los Baños, Laguna, and rural health units of Los Baños and Bay, Laguna, among others. More batches will be produced and distributed in the coming weeks, the institute says.

The frames of the face shields were made from bamboo (kauayan-tinik) — a perennial, woody-stemmed grass known for its versatile uses, reported DOST-FPRDI on its social media.

“Bamboo grows very well locally and is a favored raw material for handicraft and furniture production,” the institute added.

“Our team had to improvise with the materials at hand because the enhanced community quarantine made it challenging to procure supplies,” explained DOST-FPRDI Director Romulo T. Aggangan.

The bamboo-framed face shields were produced by a team led by DOST-FPRDI’s Froilan B. Samiano, Audel V. Mosteiro, Noel M. Medrano, Val DV Valderama and Engr. Cesar O. Austria.

Meanwhile, as part of the Los Banos Science Community, the DOST-FPRDI has provided testing service to UPLB by analyzing some personal protective equipment samples (ear guards and face shields) using the Institute’s Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometer.

DOST has been on the frontline of national efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with institutions to develop and research for products that help health workers and patients in the frontline of the battle against the disease. Among these, the first Philippine-made COVID-19 test kit, the RxBox vital signs monitor, and the Virgin Coconut Oil treatment research studies.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to DOST-FPRDI for developing the bamboo-framed face shields to address PPE needs of frontliners battling COVID-19.

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