CLEVELAND, Mo. — A company in rural Cleveland, Missouri, developed a face-mask using carbon extracted from bamboo plants. Green Resources Consulting developed the masks that are manufactured in China and assembled for distribution in Cleveland, Missouri.
The owner of Green Resources Consulting, Iveth Jalinski, has lived in Cleveland, Missouri for 10 years. She started the business 12 years ago. Her goal was to find a way to harness the power of bamboo to fight pollution.
Little did she know her discovery would lead to a one-of-a-kind face mask in the fight against COVID-19.
Jalinski is from Colombia. When she was a little girl, her family fled to the United States to escape violence. She said she faced many challenges as a woman from another country in the U.S., starting a bamboo business in the environmental field.
"I had to learn a different language, change my culture, not abandon my culture, just acquire a new one. But it actually makes you richer. So use what people see as a negative and turn it into a positive," Jalinski said. "It's perseverance, it's endurance, trying hard. Nothing is easy."
Jalinski said her breakthrough came in January of this year with a major plot-twist.
"We started creating this mask, the FFP, this one for pollution, so we were in China actually studying pollution and the COVID-19 happened. So, we decided to change and redirect the style and everything so it's efficient for the pathogen," Jalinski said.
The FFP3 face masks have four layers. One of those layers is made from carbon extracted from bamboo.
"Bamboo is a high-quality anti-bacterial and it's very important in the creation of the mask because it helps trap pathogens," Jalinski said.
Jalinski produced a video demonstrating how particles escape from woven cloth fabric and compared it with her mask made of melted fibers and a layer of carbon extracted from bamboo.
Price Chopper is selling the Cleveland Missouri compay's masks. They are also sold on the Green Resources website.
The company is also a community contributor. Jalinski said they have donated some masks and some of their profits to Children's Mercy, Saint Luke's, the University of Kansas Hospital, aSteam Village, Guadalupe Center, Mission Chateau Senior Center and the Kansas City Police Department.
Business is booming and the increased demand for face masks means Jalinski is working to expand her business. She told me that she is making plans to move the production of the FFP3 masks from China to Cleveland, Missouri. Manufacturing equipment is being shipped from China to Cleveland, Missouri.
Trisha Krause owns her own local accounting business and is the CPA for Green Resources Consulting.
"It was at a great time when people needed jobs, and I have a small business and small businesses, you know, it's great to be in a small town and have a small business and we can help out each other," Krause said.
She was proud to say that Green Resources Consulting is improving the local rural economy and making a product distributed from rural Cleveland, Missouri, that could help save lives around the world.
*Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that the masks are only assembled in Missouri. The material comes from China. We regret the error.
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