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Facemasks that kill viruses

Lancaster-based ViraCoat Ltd has submitted its FFP2 NR mask to rigorous testing to ISO18184 and EN149 compliance standards and gained certification that, within 30 minutes of contact, the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 was inactivated. This confirms that the coating is virucidal, meaning that it begins to kill viruses on contact and destroys SARS-COV-2 so that it cannot enter host cells. It is also antiviral, which prevents viruses from replicating, and antimicrobial, which prevents bacteria from developing, thus providing additional protection to the mask wearer. As well as reducing transmission whilst being worn, the coating can significantly reduce the risk of contamination from handling the masks whilst putting them on, taking them off and disposing of them. Conventional masks only offer limited protection by filtering the air we breathe in and out, with considerable leakage around the edges. The ViraCoat masks are moulded and have an adjustable nose bridge for an optimal seal to prevent contamination by infectious aerosols - tiny virus particles that linger in the air and are now widely accepted as a source of coronavirus infections not screened by surgical style masks.

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The ViraCoat coating has been demonstrated to have profound antiviral properties against not just SARS-COV-2 (including all new variants, such as delta variant) but also against influenza (H1N1 seasonal flu strain) and bacteria (E. coli). The entire surface of the mask is covered, including the straps. The masks are a distinctive green colour to easily differentiate from standard PPE.

Jon Chadwick, CEO of ViraCoat's parent company ViraCorp, said: 'We are delighted that we have achieved ISO 18184 certification, which confirms our own testing through Lancaster University's world-class biomedical facilities. The level of protection we can offer healthcare workers and many others in hospitality, retail and travel, who risk exposure every day, is greatly enhanced and savings will result from fewer mask changes, plus we are reducing the number of masks ending up in landfill and our oceans'.

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Facemasks that kill viruses. Br Dent J 231, 719 (2021).

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