US 3828366 A
A protective face mask comprising a flexible mask body conforming generally to the facial configuration of a wearer and being removably mounted at its upper end on a curved support member engageable with the upper portion of the wearer's head. The central forward portion of the mask body is provided with a porous section for filtering out particulates and minute spray globules while permitting normal breathing.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Conrad et a1.
* a [111 3,828,366 [451 Aug. 13, 1974 PROTECTIVE FACE MASK  Inventors: Victoria N. Conrad, 2007 Lockpark-Olcote Rd., Burt, NY. 14028; Charles A. Nemec, 1586 Slayton Settlement Rd., Gasport, NY. 14067  Filed: Mar. 20, 1972  Appl. No.: 235,945
 US. Cl. 2/174, 2/9  Int. Cl A42b 1/18  Field of Search 2/206, 173, 174, 205, 9; 128/141,142.6
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 127,331 5/1972 825,288 7/1906 969,491 9/1910 1,035,217 8/1912 2,033,691 3/1936 Douglass 2/174 2,424,352 7/1947 Conjurskc 2/ 174 2,495,436 l/1950 Westcott et a1. 2/52 2,856,607 10/1958 Richardson 2/173 3,152,588 10/1964 Rogowski 2/9 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,003,412 2/1957 Germany 2/9 Primary Examiner.lames R. Boler Assistant ExaminerPeter Nerbun Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ashlan F. Harlan, Jr.
[ ABSTRACT 3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PROTECTIVE FACE MASK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to a face mask and, more particularly, to an improved protective face mask for shielding a persons face from dusty or spray-laden atmospheres.
The use of atomized cosmetic preparations, such as hair sprays for example, dispersed from aerosol containers has become widely accepted in recent years.
' with the side portions 16. In use, the central portion 14 These preparations often contain ingredients and con stituents that are irritating to the eyes or other portions of the face and which may be harmful when inhaled.
While a variety of facial masks have been devised to protect a persons face from dust or spray-laden atmospheres, these have generally been unsatifactory because of their complex configurations and rigid constructions causing discomfort and irritation to the wearers face. As a result, persons having use for such masks are discouraged from using them. Moreover, such rigid masks are generally repeatedly used by various members of a household or patrons of a beauty salon, thereby creating a sanitation problem.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention obviates the above disadvantages by providing a simple and inexpensive protective face mask having a flexible mask body conforming generally to the configuration of the wearers face for shielding the face, including the eyes, and the respiratory tract from dusty or spray-laden atmospheres without interfering with vision or with normal breathing.
The protective face mask of the present invention comprises a mask body formed of a thin, flexible, impermeable plastic material conforming generally to the facial configuration of a wearer and removably mounted on a curved, resilient, support member shaped generally to conform to a wearers forehead. The opposite end portions of the support member are curved inwardly -for bearing engagement against the temples and sides of the wearer's head. The central portion of the mask body is provided with a porous section to permit normal breathing while filtering out particulates and spray globules. At least that portion of the mask body in the viewing path of the wearer is transparent to provide unobscured vision therethrough.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a protective face mask constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a horizontal sectional view, also on an enlarged scale, taken on the plane 3-3 of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF AN ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT Referring now in detail to the illustrative embodiment depicted in the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a face mask, comprehensively designated and constructed in accordance with this invention, which comprises a body 12 the major portion of which is preferably formed of polyethylene or other suitable thin, impermeable, transparent, flexible plastic material.
Mask body 12 is provided with a facial receiving cavity conforming generally to the facial configuration of overlies the eyes, nose and lips of a wearer and the side portions 16, together with the bottom portion 18, extend about and enclose, respectively, the side and chin portions of the face of a wearer. The mask body may be shaped by blowing or molding in the desired shape or, if desired, a flat sheet of the thin plastic material can be so notched or cut out on its bottom edge as to permit rearward bending of the central bottom portion to form the bottom 18 of the body. Whereupon, the contiguous edges of the side portions and the bottom may be secured together in suitable manner, for example by adhesive. Obviously, when formed by the second mentioned procedure the mask will have seams and will lack the smooth contours of a mask formed by the first mentioned method as illustrated.
A generally rectangularly shaped opening 20 is provided in the central portion 14 of mask body 12 and is closed by a rectangular strip or patch 22 of any suitable porous material, such, for example, as a fabric. The inner surfaces of the body 12 adjacent the opening 20 overlap the outer surfaces of the strip 22 around the edges thereof as shown at 24 (FIG. 3) and are heatsealed or otherwise suitably secured thereto. The porous strip 22 is disposed in the breathing path, forwardly of a wearers nose and mouth region, and permits normal breathing. The porosity of the strip 22 permits relatively free flow of air therethrough while filtering out the particulates and globules in a dust or sprayladen atmosphere.
The upper edge of the body 12 is turned to provide a heading 26 adapted to receive a curved support member 28, the free edge 30 (FIG. 2) being attached in suitable manner to the body 12. This may be done, for example, by stitching, heat sealing, or the use of a suitable adhesive as desired and convenient.
The curved support member 28 serves to support the mask 10 on a wearers head. As will be seen from the drawings, the member 28 is a generally U-shaped band the ends 32 of which are preferably reduced in crosssection and converging. The member 28 may be formed of any suitable material that is relatively rigid but resilient enough to be placed on and grip firmly the forehead and temples of a wearer. Although it may be of wood or metal, the member 28 is preferably formed of a suitable durable plastic such, for example, as a phenolic resin or a polyacrylic resin that may be molded or otherwise easily formed to the desired configuration. In general, it should substantially conform to the shape of the forehead and sides of a human head, but its resilience will permit a single member to fit and be used with heads which vary somewhat in size and shape.
The marginal edge 34 of the integral side and bottom portions 16 and 18 of the mask body 12 is also turned to provide a heading 36, the edge 34 being, like the edge 30, attached in a desired and convenient manner to the body 12. An elastic cord 38 extends through the heading 36, the ends of the cord being formed or provided with loops or eyelets 40 that may be held on the reduced ends 32 of the support member 28. Preferably,
' the elastic cord 38 when contracted is slightly shorter than the heading 36. Thus, the sides 16 and bottom 18 of the body 12 of the mask are held closely around the face of a wearer by the tension in the stretched cord 38 when the mask is in place.
The porous strip or section 22 may, as stated above, be formed of fabric. Although a suitable woven fabric may be used, it is preferred to use a non-woven fabric. Such fabrics, which are widely available commercially, are made of a variety of types of fibers and have an extremely high porosity, thus allowing passage of air readily. At the same time, the pores are quite fine and effectively filter out particulate material, such as dust and spray globules, carried by the air. The strip 22 may be secured over the opening 20 in any suitable desired manner. Preferably, when the materials of the mask body 12 and the strip are suitable, the strip is merely heat-sealed in place. In other cases the strip and body may be sewn or secured together by the use of a suitable adhesive. Although, to reduce the chance of accidental removal, the strip is preferably placed inside the mask, it may, if desired, be secured on the outer side thereof. It will be understood that the specific shapes of the opening 20 in the mask body and the porous strip or section 22 may vary as desired, there being nothing critical therein. The size of the opening may also vary as desired, bearing in mind that ease of breathing while wearing the mask will be greater with relatively large openings.
In donning a protective mask of the type herein described, the end portions 32 of the supporting member or band 28 are grasped, one in each hand, and sprung apart far enough for the band to be pulled over the forehead of the wearer. When the ends 32 are released, they firmly grip over the temples and sides of the head. The lower portions of the sides 16 of the mask are then grasped and pulled apart to stretch the elastic cord 38 so that the mask can be fitted under the chin and around the sides of the face in which position it is snugly held by the elastic cord. Thus, not only is the wearer protected from breathing spray-laden air when it is worn while applying, for example, aerosol hair spray, but the surface of the face and the eyes are protected from the spray also. It should be noted here that, if desired, the mask can be held around the face by other elastic means or by a simple draw-string (not shown).
While the face mask of this invention has been described as useful in protecting against the harmful effects of atomized cosmetic preparations, it should be understood that the utility thereof is by no means restricted thereto. Such masks are also useful in any dusty or spray-laden atmosphere such as might be generated by the use of household cleaning sprays, paint sprays, and the like. Also, if desired, the mask 10 can be used to shield a persons face against inclement weather conditions, such as rain, snow, wind and the like to prevent chapping and/or disarray of a persons facial cosmetic arrangement.
A significant feature of this invention is that the mask body 12 can be readily removed from the support member 28 for cleaning or replacement and can be produced so inexpensively as to render it expendable when desirable for sanitary purposes. Thus, the mask body can be removed and discarded after use by a beauty salon patron and replaced by a fresh mask body for use by a subsequent customer. It is contemplated that the mask body 12 and the elastic cord 38 would be replaced as a unit, but the latter can, of course, be reused. Although, except for the porous strip 22, the mask body is preferably transparent throughout, this is not necessary since only a large enough transparent area need be provided to permit an adequate field of view for the wearer. Moreover, if desired, any or all of the elements of the mask may be colored or otherwise decorated.
As a result of this invention, an improved facial mask is provided for protecting a persons face against dusty and/or spray-laden atmosphere and adverse atmospheric conditions without interfering with the vision or normal breathing of the person. The provision of a porous portion in the breathing path of a wearer permits flow of air while filtering out particulates and globules of potentially harmful sprays. The mask body can easily be removed from the support member for cleaning or replacement, as desired, and the low cost thereof renders it expendable after each use if desired for hygenic purposes. The flexibility of the mask body enables it to be folded into a compact form for ease of handling and storage.
A preferred embodiment of this invention having been described and illustrated in detail, it is to be understood that this has been done by way of illustration and that numerous modifications thereof may be made without departing from the broad spirit and scope of this invention, as defined by the appended claims.
1. A protective face mask comprising: a curved, relatively rigid but resilient support member substantially conforming to the shape of the forehead and sides of a human head; a mask body removably carried by said support member, said body defining a facial receiving cavity conforming generally to the configuration of a human face and having a central portion and a pair of opposed side portions and a bottom portion extending rearwardly from said central portion, the major portion of said mask body being formed of a thin, flexible, impermeable, plastic material and at least the portion thereof normally disposed in the wearers viewing path being transparent; an opening in the central portion of said mask body; and a strip of flexible, porous, permeable material covering said opening and being secured, around the entire marginal edge of said opening, to said mask body, whereby to permit the flow of air through said opening and prevent the passage of particulates and spray globules; wherein the rearwardly extending side and bottom portions of said mask body carry an elastic cord, said cord having end loops at the tops of said side portions, and wherein said support member is generally U-shaped and is provided with integral end portions engaging said loops and adapted to engage against the sides of a wearers head.
2.. A protective face mask as defined in claim 1 wherein said flexible, porous strip is of fabric.
3. A protective face mask as defined in claim 2 wherein said fabric is a non-woven one.