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Town buys N95 Masks, but Boy Are They Naive

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  • Town buys N95 Masks, but Boy Are They Naive

    GR: Their research stopped one foot in front of the topic called inhalation valve. Those masks will prove to be unwearable, in real work environments. They've saved a nickel and tossed out nearly the entire value of the mask.

    Note also, they expect to use the mask all day.

    These folks are well intentioned, but naive and probably, the decisionmakers are just typical bureaucrats, frightened, constrained financially, and making a half-assed decision.


    Employees will receive masks for avian flu

    BY NICOLE WAGNER
    STAFF WRITER

    With the threat of avian influenza making headlines, Mount Prospect's Village Board decided last week to purchase nearly $11,000 worth of masks to prepare for a possible pandemic.

    Fire Chief Michael Figolah asked the board to purchase the masks, which will cost about 60 cents each, to protect village employees in the event of widespread illness. The masks will be similar to those used for construction work but will be made with a thicker material.

    "Let's hope it's a Y2K -- the avian flu -- and we never have to worry about using them," Figolah said.

    The masks will be for any village employee who works with the public including firefighters, police officers, public works employees and Village Hall employees. People can wear the masks for a minimum of four hours before humidity builds up inside the mask and makes it difficult to breathe, Figolah said. The masks will be thrown away at the end of the day.

    Figolah estimated the $11,000 would buy a 90-day supply, and the village will try to purchase as many masks as it can with the allotted money.

    "This is an unbudgeted item," Figolah told the board. "This is something we didn't see coming."

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site said reported avian influenza cases which have occurred in Asia and Europe are believed to be from direct contact with poultry, and avian influenza cases are being watched closely to see if the virus is transmitted from human to human.

    Nicole Wagner can be reached at nwagner@pioneerlocal.com.
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