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Publication numberUS3438370 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 15, 1969
Filing dateOct 3, 1966
Priority dateOct 3, 1966
Publication numberUS 3438370 A, US 3438370A, US-A-3438370, US3438370 A, US3438370A
InventorsKrantz John C Jr
Original AssigneeKrantz John C Jr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Face mask
US 3438370 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 15, 1969 J. c. KRANTZ, JR

FACE MASK Filed Oct. 3. i966 J C KQA HY l 2 ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,438,370 FACE MASK John C. Krantz, Jr., 7824 Ellenham Road, Ruxton, Md. 21204 Filed Oct. 3, 1966, Ser. No. 583,706 Int. Cl. A61b 19/00 U.S. Cl. 128139 3 Claims This invention relates to a face mask and more particularly to face masks for hospital, office and general sanitary uses to prevent the wearer of the mask from breathing upon or toward a nearby patient or other person, yet providing for easy inhalation by the wearer of the mask.

In the case of prior face masks of the inexpensive and therefore disposable type to which this invention relates, the construction has been such that the air exhaled from the mouth of the wearer may be directed into the other persons face, or, if vented by being diffused through the material of the mask, may give rise to a heated and humid condition 'within the mask that causes discomfiture to the wearer. Additionally, if the mask is pervious to air, it may also be pervious to viruses and bacteria with a resultant buildup of the bacteria population close to the mouth of the user. Such a condition entails re-breathing through the bacteria-laden material of the mask.

It is, therefore, an important object of this invention to provide a mask so constructed and arranged as to direct the exhaled mouth air rearwardly and downwardly under the wearers chin and not into the other persons face; that provides a discharge conduit or passageway that optionally contains active material that will absorb bacteria and most viruses, without building up excessive back pressure; that will provide a continuous flow of air into the mask upon inhalation through a valved inlet opening for that purpose; that is transparent and translucent and therefore does not partially disguise the identity of the wearer, as do conventional opaque masks; and that can be inexpensively manufactured as a disposable item.

Other and further important objects of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

On the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a profile view of the face of a wearer with the mask shown in place thereon and in section;

FIG. 2 is a plan or elevational view looking into the inside of the mask; and

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially on the line IIIIII of FIG. 2.

In the specification:

The reference numeral indicates generally a face mask embodying the principles of my invention. As shown in FIG. 1, the mask 10 is positioned in place on the head 11 of a user, with means, such as a tie band or string 12 for holding the mask in place. As so mounted, the masks rear edge portion, indicated generally by the reference numeral 13, lies in contact, as at 14, with the bridge portion of the nose by virtue of a conforming arcuate shaped portion 15 in the edge 13, and contact is generally established between the more or less conforming lateral portions 16 and 17 of the edge 13 with the sides of the face of the wearer. The contour of the mask 10 is such as to provide contact with the chin of the wearer, as at :18, with the lower, rearwardly sloping wall portion 19 of the mask extending rearwardly and downwardly beyond the chin engaging area 18 to terminate at 20.

The mask 10 is of an outwardly convex contour, and is preferably formed of the thin wall of relatively airimpervious material, such as a synthetic organic plastic, that is sufiiciently rigid to hold its shape when not put under stress but is sufficiently deformable to be shaped by pressure to conform to the contour of the wearers 3,438,370 Patented Apr. 15, 1969 dicated by the reference letter S, is included between the mask 10 and the face area that is bounded by the faceengaging portion of the edge 13 of the mask. The area A includes the nose 21 and mouth 22 of the wearer.

The front portion of the mask 10 is preferably constituted by a relatively flat or planar segment 23. Said segment 23 is provided with an opening 24 that is generally positioned so as to be in alignment with the nose 21 of the wearer but spaced thereform. A flutter valve 25, also termed a flap valve, is associated with the opening 24 in such manner as to normally close said opening but be adapted to uncover the opening under the reduced pressure set up in the space S during inhalation of air by the wearer. For this purpose, the valve 25 is adhesively or otherwise secured along its upper border, as at 26, so as to be, in effect, hinged therealong and free to swing rearwardly to uncover the opening 24. The valve 25 may suitably be formed of a rectangular, or other shape, of fiat sheet material, such as a thin sheet of regenerated cellulose, polyethylene, or the like, that is itself relatively impervious to air and to bacteria and viruses. If the wall portion 23 is not substantially flat as initially formed, a portion of the inner surface should be rendered flat and smooth to provide a seat, as at 27, for the flap valve 25.

The lower portion of the mask 10, if formed of plastic, is preferably provided with an integral wall 28 that is coextensive with the rearwardly and downwardly lower wall portion 19 of the mask and forms therewith a fiattened passageway 29 for the discharge of mouth exhalations. The passageway 29 is preferably filled with granular material 30 capable of adsorbing or absorbing bacteria and viruses and thus of purifying the exhaled air, but this is optional depending upon the use to which the mask is to be put.

The wall 28, adjacent its upper edge, may be cut away to expose the interior of the passageway 29, or the granular material 30 that may be provided therein. The resulting cutout 31 (FIGS. 1 and 2) is thus above the point of contact 18 with the chin of the wearer and, therefore, in communication with the space S. With the flap valve 25 closed, as 'would be the case during exhalation, the mouth air exhaled by the user of the mask is discharged through the cutaway portion 31 into the passageway 29 and exits through the open end 32 in the general direction of the neck of the wearer and below his chin.

This arrangement prevents the exhaled air from being directed outwardly through the mask toward or into the face of the other person or patient whom the wearer of the mask may be confronting. This would be the case, even if the passageway 29 were not filled with a material for filtering, absorbing or adsorbing the bacteria and/or viruses in the air exhalations of the user of the mask. If desired, the upper end 33 of the tubular passageway 29 may be closed since the cutaway 31 forms an adequate communication between the space S and the passageway 29.

A suitable granular material for insertion in the passageway 29 is activate-d charcoal, particularly coconut charcoal. Coconut charcoal is capable of absorbing or adsorbing bacteria and most viruses.

During use of the mask, there is practically a continuous flow of air into the space S through the opening 24,

temperature that obtains than that which would otherwise 5 prevail and also due to the removal of water vapor and consequent lowering of the humidity within the space S. As a further convenience to the user of the mask, the cutaway portion 31 provides less resistance to voice sounds of the wearer of the mask and of a third person in communication with such mask wearer.

The mask of my invention may be used generally by the public to prevent the spreading of germs carried by the breath. As is well recognized, the spread of the common cold is frequently due to contact with the exhaled air of one harboring the disease. While this often occurs during close contact by reason of the exhalation in speaking, sneezing or coughing, in the case of a cough the velocity of expelled air may rise to 15 or 20 miles per hour and carry bacteria-laden air several feet. The greatest offenders in the spread of the common cold and other air-transmittable ailments or diseases are those persons who are compelled to work at close contact, such as the beautician, barber, dentist and the like, but personal contact in the home, oflice, classroom and places of amusement contributes its share of the contagion.

It will be understood that modifications and variations may be effected without departing from the scope of the novel concepts of the present invention.

I claim:

1. A face mask comprising an outwardly convex, relatively thin-walled body portion integrally formed of plastic material adapted to be positioned against the users face to include the nose and chin area and providing an included space in front thereof, the front Wall of said body portion having an opening,

an inwardly opening hinged flap valve normally closing said opening and adapted to uncover said opening during an inhalation, and means forming a discharge passage to direct exhaled aid toward the users neck. 2. A face mask as defined by claim 1, wherein said means is a tubular member integrally formed with said body portion, and filtering material positioned in said tubular member. 3. A face mask as defined by claim 2, wherein said tubular member is cut away at its forward upper end to form an opening into said passageway.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,491,674 4/1924 Coletti 128-146.6 3,029,812 4/1962 Matheson 128146.6 3,072,119 1/1963 Matheson 128-146.6 3,276,445 10/1966 Langdon 128-146.4 3,288,138 11/1966 Sachs 128-146.6

CHARLES F. ROSENBAUM, Primary Examiner.

U.S. Cl. X.'R. 128-146.6

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1491674 *Jul 8, 1922Apr 22, 1924Coletti CataldoSanitary mask
US3029812 *Mar 3, 1958Apr 17, 1962Welsh Mfg CoRespirator
US3072119 *May 5, 1961Jan 8, 1963Welsh Mfg CoRespirator with removable cartridge
US3276445 *Feb 25, 1964Oct 4, 1966Weck & Co EdwardSurgical mask
US3288138 *Oct 14, 1965Nov 29, 1966Louis SachsSurgical mask
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4323063 *Apr 21, 1980Apr 6, 1982Fisichella Jeanne MMedical face mask
US4469097 *May 25, 1982Sep 4, 1984Kelman Charles DMedical breathing apparatus
US5112322 *Oct 19, 1990May 12, 1992Lucille HathawayEmesis head appliance
US5140997 *Oct 4, 1989Aug 25, 1992Glassman Jacob AOphthalmologic surgical drape with breathing means
US5243708 *Jun 30, 1992Sep 14, 1993Vanuch James PDisposable scented mask
US5538013 *Jul 19, 1995Jul 23, 1996Brannon; Michael A.Mask having interchangeable scenting means
US6920880 *Jul 6, 2004Jul 26, 2005Justin W. ZahrtMask defogging system and method
US6988500 *Apr 30, 2004Jan 24, 2006J. Palmero Sales Company, Inc.Fog free medical face mask
US8006694Jun 17, 2009Aug 30, 2011Gustav David MarxPop-open respiratory etiquette device
US20060254591 *Jul 5, 2005Nov 16, 2006David MarxPersonal hygiene device and method
US20100229871 *Jun 17, 2009Sep 16, 2010Gustav David MarxPop-open respiratory etiquette device
WO1995007034A1 *Sep 8, 1993Mar 16, 1995Vanuch James PDisposable protective mask
U.S. Classification128/863, 128/206.12
International ClassificationA41D13/05, A41D13/11
Cooperative ClassificationA41D13/1146
European ClassificationA41D13/11B8B