CT Checkup: Portland manufacturer adapts tech originally used to produce Halloween masks into medical-grade PPE for essential workers

Middlesex

PORTLAND, Conn. (WTNH) — It may be summer, but a Portland Halloween mask manufacturer is busier than ever. 

StickFX pivoted their business when the COVID-19 crisis began and figured out a way to bring their unique adhesive technology – typically used to secure superhero and party masks – to the front lines. 

“Using the same adhesive technology, you can stick the filter on and you can take it off, wash it, and reuse it,” explained Kim Murray, co-founder of StickFX. “So it reduces the amount of waste and also gives you a tighter fit around your mouth and nose.” 

Murray and her co-founder Leigh Radziwon worked closely with local hospitals and universities, like Johns Hopkins, to turn their technology into effective PPE. 

The medical-grade silicone masks, which they call “Masksealz,” were created with the help of two other local manufacturers and donations from their GOFUNDME page. 

“We sort of had to rally the troops in Connecticut and say, ‘We have this product, it works great, we’ve been testing it, can we please get some help around here,” said Radziwon.  

Their first batch of masks is now ready for distribution; over 200 will be donated to local essential workers this week.

Radziwon told News 8, “The crew at Indian Hill Cemetery in Middletown had contacted us and said, ‘You know, we’re not the first responders, we’re the last responders and we have nothing.’” 

Additional donations will be made to local police and fire departments. 

And more than just a party business now, Radziwon adds that they will be selling these masks to the public on their website and is proud to use their expertise to support the community, 

“We are people who have the ability and skill to be able to provide back to the community,” she said. “And we’re happy to be doing so.”

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