Wearing a mask is more important now than ever. There are a number of different types of masks to choose from, from the humble disposable paper mask to designer "fashion wear".
But there is no point in wearing a mask unless it actually does the job of protecting you and others. The ideal face mask is one that provides both an internal and external anti-viral barrier, while at the same time allowing an unobstructed flow of breath. However, achieving this ideal state is not as straightforward as it may seem.
Individual needs and preferences also come into play - for example: How long will you need to be wearing the mask? How big / small is your face and what shape is it? What kind of environment will you be in? (e.g. temperature and humidity are important). What activity will you be engaged in? These are all important factors when assessing the effectiveness of personal face masks.
How are infectious respiratory viruses transmitted? In three main ways, namely:
1. Direct contact:
Contact Transmission - where someone comes into direct contact with an infected person or touches a surface that has been contaminated with virus.
Transmission of both large and small respiratory droplets that contain the virus, which can occur when near an infected person.
The most potentially infectious form of transmission is via airborne smaller droplets and particles that are suspended in the air.
When choosing a personal face mask, the following questions should help you to decide which type to go for:
- Does the mask fit snuggly?
- Can you breathe comfortably through the mask? If you need gaps around the sides simply to breathe, then the virus can just as easily enter and exit through those gaps too.
- Is the mask causing any irritation?
- Does the mask prevent misting of glasses?
- Can the mask be disposed of safely? If not, are you concerned about the environmental impact of disposable masks?
- Can the mask be re-used?
- Does the mask have an anti-viral component?
- If the mask claims to be anti-viral, what is the evidence for the claim?
- Is the mask washable while still maintaining its antiviralfunction after multiple washes?
- Is the mask cost-effective?
No Point in a Mask that does Not Stop Viruses
If you have to wear a face mask, or just feel safer wearing one, then there is little point in choosing a mask that is not designed to fulfil the task of preventing the spread of viruses.
Masks should create a safety seal for both the inhale and exhale between a person's respiratory system and act as a barrier from the immediate environment.
There are many reasons why air flows around the edges of a face mask and not through it, but it is mostly down to poor design and both the type and shape of the fabric.
These issues are particularly associated with disposable masks. For a start, the plastic strip at the top of the mask will only fit one part of the bridge of the nose and any movement or displacement will create gaps.
If the mask is uncomfortable or itches, the temptation is to loosen the fittings (provided it has adjustable fittings), and this will remove the safety seal.
The Environmental Impact of Disposable Masks
Disposable masks are only designed to be used once. After prolonged use they become moist, have picked up mucus, food and other deposits from around the mouth and nasal cavities and as a result of this become rapidly unhygienic and unsafe. A further concern however is the impact that billions of disposable masks is having on the environment and their considerable contribution towards plastics in oceans and other forms of pollution.
A Comfortable, Close-Fitting, Reusable Mask that has Anti-Viral Properties is the Ideal Solution
The Intelligent Mask – IShield Warriors Mask
Clearly, then a comfortable, close-fitting mask that has anti-viral properties and can be washed and re-used is the ideal solution.
That’s why we are proud to introduce the IShield Warriors Mask! An adjustable, anti-bacterial and anti-viral face mask made from tekFABRIK(TM). Following rigorous laboratory testing there are scientific results to prove it!
What is the Anti-Viral tekFABRIK?
TekFABRIK is an antimicrobial (antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal) material that kills pathogens by rupturing cell membranes and viral envelopes. The anti-microbial chemical compound (known as the "SAFE-212" molecule) is bonded to the fabric and hence does not leach, allowing for repeated washing.
Dr Michael N.Teng, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Medicine, Molecular Medicine, and Pediatrics at The University of South Florida has produced a report following the testing of the tekFABRIK. The tests looked at the inactivation of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infectivity following passage through the fabric. The RSV was chosen as a marker due to its similarity to SARS-CoV viruses and is an enveloped virus containing a strand of RNA genome. RSV also spreads through the air, is highly and is a major cause of chest infections. It is therefore a good comparative virus to test.
In a separate study headed for Dr Jogin Desai by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) the report summarizes as follows:
"Significant virucidal activity was observed with the modified [TekFABRIK] cloth. Study on toxicity and virucidal activity on other viruses is also conducted independently and in collaboration with other teams nationally and internationally".
About the ISHIELD Warriors Mask, made with tekFABRIK
The new six-layer filtration antiviral masks have been manufactured using the anti-viral (and anti-bacterial / anti-fungal) fabric. They are self-sanitizing and reusable up to 30 washes (or 90 Days) and provide comfort and easy breathing.
They have a long adjustable nose clip that creates the all-essential seal at the top of the mask. The adjustable ear loops are of a very soft material and come with adjustable beads for greater comfort and to help form the ideal seal. This also leads to minimal misting / fogging of spectacles and glasses.
Masks can be purchased here on our website under the “SHOP” Tab.
For larger quantity orders, general questions, or if you would like to view our Lab Reports, please contacts us at email@example.com