Nike has announced that it is taking steps to help healthcare workers who are battling the coronavirus pandemic.
It is repurposing collar padding once meant for its shoes, cords originally destined for apparel, and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from Nike Air soles, to create personal protective equipment (PPE).
The company, in a blog post, said that its various teams are closely working with health professionals at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to provide PPE in the form of full-face shields and powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses.
“Without proper facial protection, healthcare workers are at a higher risk of contracting the virus, which could place substantial strain on the healthcare workforce in the months ahead,” says Miko Enomoto, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine, OHSU School of Medicine.
She also added that the full-face masks also help prolong the time for which one can safely use a surgical or N95 mask. Nike said the full-face shield is manufactured through a nine-step process.
The face shields are being made through a combined effort of the company’s innovation teams and manufacturing groups at its Air Manufacturing Innovation (Air MI) facilities in Oregon and Missouri.
On the other hand, TPU will be used in the manufacturing of new lenses for PAPR helmets, which can be employed in situations with the most airborne pathogen exposure.