Why Acrylic Sneeze Guards Are NOT Good COVID-19 Shields

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June 30, 2020

We have been receiving a steady stream of calls from businesses since the middle of April.  Even before companies began to reopen, people were calling us to ask if we carried acrylic sneeze guards for workstations.  To accommodate this overwhelming–and very immediate demand–we briefly offered acrylic sneeze guards and also with COVID desks shields made from plexiglass.  We also experimented with our own design before quickly transitioning to tempered glass.  While both plexiglass and acrylic can successfully block any airborne contagions transmitted through coughing or sneezing, there are still a number of reasons that we advise against buying cough shields made from these materials.  

Acrylic is a type of plastic.  Like all forms of plastic, it lacks the complete transparency that high-quality glass affords.  Over time, it begins to look dull to the eye with barely perceivable cloudiness that makes it obvious you are looking through a partly obstructive surface.  This is more than an aesthetic nuisance.  Some people with sensitive eyes can actually suffer from eye strain or headaches if they continuously look through an obscured transparency that makes everything on the other side of the sneeze guard look fuzzy and dull.  Even people with 20/20 vision will find such a view of their surroundings somewhat deflating or ven depressing after a while.  Cleaning acrylic is more difficult and more costly than cleaning glass.

Acrylic can be damaged by any ammonia-based cleaners.  This includes something you can easily pick up for a couple of dollars from the convenience store or gas station right across from your office building.  Most manufacturers will include special cleaning instructions with acrylic sneeze guards to ensure that you do not damage your panels by using the same cleaners that your maintenance crew uses daily on your office windows.  Keep in mind that even if you follow these instructions your maintenance team that comes into your office after hours may not be aware that what they normally use on glass can damage your COVID desk shields.  In a matter of a few short minutes, your entire health and safety investment can be tarnished simply by the night crew making one tiny oversight.

You won’t have these problems with tempered glass.  Built-in the same way as car windows and windshields, our tempered glass sneeze guards can be wiped clean with anything that you typically use to clean a window or glass shelf.  Additionally, you can clean our desk shields with paper towels just like you would any mirror at home.  Practically every manufacturer of acrylic sneeze guards will tell you to avoid using paper towels because they leave tiny scratches on the plastic.  With everyone scrambling to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, we do not know of any businesses out there that have the time to set aside warm soft rags and special cleaners for their COVID desk shields.  That is an additional expense and it is too much to keep up with on a mental level as well.  

Another major disadvantage of acrylic sneeze guards is the damage their mounting brackets cause to desk surfaces.  Acrylic shields, due to their lightweight, have to be screwed into the desk and held in place by fasteners.  Even the ones that are assembled like our CPCS — which consist of two or three panels fitted together at right angles–do not weigh enough to stay positioned in one place.  By contrast, our tempered glass cough shields are light enough for one person to lift and move, but they are also heavy enough to rest on their own weight without having to be mounted to the work surface.  Once this crisis is past, you can remove your sneeze guards and your furniture will look exactly as it did before you purchased them.

Cubiture is committed to giving you the best.  While you might be tempted to take a low-budget path when purchasing office furniture accessories, acrylic sneeze guards should not be on this list of items.  Every company should invest in the best health and safety measures for their employees while simultaneously maintaining the aesthetic and resale value of their office furnitureCall us now for a free quote and design drawing.  You won’t regret purchasing tempered glass.  

Tempered Glass Sneeze Guards – FREE Quote 713-412-0900

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