Mask Sucks in Viruses and Kills Them

By Eric Beidel
The Food and Drug Administration has approved for sale to the U.S. government a facemask that traps and kills viruses.

The mask is being marketed to the military, state and local health organizations, medical agencies and first responders. Missouri-based C&A Bio International will manufacture the masks, employing disabled and retired veterans to make them. Another company plans to distribute the product to hospitals, nursing homes, surgery centers and hospitality and retail chains.

The developers of BioMask say that it can catch 99.9 percent of infectious viruses and destroy them within five minutes. The technology behind the mask comes from Texas-based firm Filligent HK, which uses a hydrophilic plastic coating on the outer layer consisting of citric acid and an inner layer treated with metal ions such as copper and zinc.

During laboratory tests, the BioMask inactivated several influenza strains, including swine and avian flu. The product also is effective against anthrax. It can be worn for more than five hours but must be replaced if it becomes damaged or soiled by blood or other bodily fluids. The mask comes in both flat and convex designs.

Officials said the mask could be carried in soldiers’ rucksacks in case of outbreaks and emergencies. Doctors and nurses in military hospitals also could wear them, they said.

Topics: Homeland Security, Science and Technology, Science and Engineering Technology

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