British Red Cross
London EC2Y 9AL
Dear Red Cross official,
Odour Absorbing Masks
I am responding to your Philippines appeal with an unsigned cheque for £50. I will sign it if I get an informative and positive response to this query about the use of activated charcoal masks in emergency relief work. I have found in the past that letters to NGOs go unanswered, or receive a stock acknowledgement, so I hope you will forgive me for using this approach.
As a doctor I am aware of the stench of death that hangs over a place where many people and animals have died – a stench which greatly increases the suffering of all, including relief workers. After Haiyan I identified a firm who make activated charcoal masks. They were ready to dispatch, I was ready to pay, but I was unable to get in touch with any relief agency who could have received them. So nothing happened.
1. Do Red Cross relief packages already include charcoal masks, or are they included if corpses abound?
2. Are they effective? If so, what is the most cost effective design?
3. If they are not routinely used, would you like to try them out?
I am willing to donate more to support this aspect of relief, and am willing to write campaigning letters and articles about it in the medical press.
So I look forward to reading your expert opinion.