From James, founder of StyleSEAL:
On my first trip to Asia in the early 2000s, I was intrigued by seeing some people wearing surgical masks. Having lived my entire life in the USA, I had never seen anyone wearing a surgical mask anywhere but inside a medical office. I asked a few questions and was told pneumonia could be a problem, so wearing a mask sounded smart to me.
I didn’t think much about it until I was back in Hong Kong during the start of the SARS outbreak in 2003. People started dying and the public and I were really scared. But even with the risk of SARS, only a few more people were wearing masks. That got me thinking: Why don’t more people wear masks? Common sense says everyone should wear them under the circumstances.
I concluded that more people don’t wear masks because of one or all of the reasons below:
- The hazards in the air are invisible, so out of sight out of mind: “It won’t happen to me”.
- Many people do not want to look "funny" wearing a surgical or industrial type mask.
I learned through personal testing that most of the masks on the market have poor sealing, so it is impossible for them to function properly. I tried some different ways to develop a product designed for the typical commuter and children.
After a few variations I ended up with the StyleSEAL Air Mask, the best sealing mask on the market. There was a lot to learn and we are still learning and developing so we can help more people protect themselves.
Our goal is to educate the public and help make the invisible hazards of air pollution and germs visible. We are committed to educating the public so they can realize the hazards they face.
Our air masks are designed to be as visually appealing as possible so you can feel comfortable wearing them in public. We prefer to call them air protection masks because they are designed to protect you from the air you breathe.
Many masks on the market are expensive. We are committed to making our air masks affordable, so we designed our mask with replaceable filters, which greatly reduces the cost. Replaceable filters are also far more environmentally friendly than the disposable alternatives, surgical masks and respirators.
Our mission is to make affordable, attractive, well designed personal air protection available worldwide while educating the public about the hazards they encounter and how best to protect themselves.