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PITTSBURGH, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The University of Pittsburgh football team will wear Makana masks to best protect its student-athletes, coaches and team personnel during air travel this season. The Makana mask, developed by Dr. David Mathews and donated to Pitt Athletics by Makana, functions as a closed system (no valve) with a functional two-way filter to protect even the most vulnerable populations from airborne pollutants.

“The Makana mask uses state-of-the-art technology and high-quality materials to provide the best possible protection,” said Dr. Freddie Fu, chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC. “I am proud of the relationship between Pitt and Makana and thrilled that this innovative new mask is going to help keep the Panthers safe during air travel.”

Pitt and UPMC Sports Medicine followed every CDC and UPMC guideline in place before ultimately choosing Makana masks to enhance student-athlete and staff safety during these unprecedented times. The Makana mask is not a N95 respirator mask, but rather as Dr. Mathews says “a mask that truly protects the wearer and those around them.”

“I did my residency in orthopedics at the University of Pittsburgh, where I often treated Pitt athletes, and of course I became a fan,” said Dr. Mathews. “Years later, it feels great to be able to provide these masks to Pitt athletes to keep them as safe as possible when they travel, especially by plane, for games in these unusual times. Makana masks were developed to provide a more effective, more comfortable, and reusable alternative to disposable surgical masks for anyone in situations with pollutants, pathogens or questionable air quality. With a global pandemic interfering with so many aspects of our lives, I’m delighted that our company can play a small part in the great tradition of Pitt football. Hail to Pitt!”

Additional information on the Makana masks is available at


At Makana we are humanitarians first and innovators second. In the beginning, we set out to design an anti-pollution mask for at-risk populations in developing nations; something we rarely worry about in the United States. We wanted to create a washable reusable facemask; improving comfort, function, and performance while reducing unnecessary waste. We designed our mask to protect the most vulnerable populations from airborne pollutants. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we collectively agreed to make sure that our masks could be worn all day, every day. Our mask protects the wearer and everyone around them, using a simple two-way filter to capture bacteria and virus particles. With countless color options and four unique filters to choose from, the Makana facemask the most user-friendly protection available for everyone no matter where they live, work or play. Makana making the world a healthier place one breath at a time.

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