New antiviral mask inactivates flu viruses

Medline has introduced the BioMask, an antiviral, antimicrobial face mask that the company claims can inactivate 99.99% of laboratory-tested flu viruses.

In addition to filtering the air, the BioMask inactivates harmful pathogens, including imminent pandemic and seasonal strains of influenza viruses that land on both the outside and inside surfaces of the mask.

The BioMask works by using a combination of citric acid, zinc, and copper. A hydrophilic coating on the outside wicks droplets away from the surface, while the low pH in citric acid begins to inactivate viruses on contact. The droplet then lands on the mask's inner blue layer where any remaining viruses are inactivated by copper and zinc, which are toxic to pathogens.

The mask has U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, according to the company.

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