, a Pittsburgh company that manufactures antimicrobial-fighting polymers, is helping to create a facemask that is effective against the spread of influenza and the H1N1 virus.
The "Ultra Sensitive" facemask actually kills harmful microorganisms including MRSA, Staph and Influenza A strains that settle on the surface of the mask, thereby reducing the risk of cross contamination. The masks will be made by Crosstex, a Long Island, NY, company and division of Cantel Medical Corp. They will be sold in select markets outside of the U.S.
While the BIOSAFE additive has been approved by the EPA, the flu-fighting masks are waiting FDA approval before they can be sold in the U.S. says Donald Wagner of BIOSAFE.
Most facemasks work by simply filtering airborne germs. BIOSAFE's antimicrobial disrupts the cell membrane of the target organism upon physical contact, inhibiting its ability to infect surrounding cells, Wagner says.
"This takes a simple mask that's inexpensive and easy to distribute to places with smaller budgets," explains Wagner. "It could be a great tool to prevent the spread of infection."
BIOSAFE's patented antimicrobial defends against bacteria, fungi, mold and yeast and provides a barrier of protection for an assortment of products including medical equipment, keyboard covers and plastics. Read the Pop City
The worldwide market for antimicrobials is $6 billion. The product is totally green, Wagner adds, is non-leaching, has no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals or polychlorinated phenols. A PLSG company, BIOSAFE was founded by Pittsburgh optometrist Harry Morgan who originally hoped to use the technology for contact lenses.
Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Donald Wagner, BIOSAFE
Image courtesy of BIOSAFE