Hi-tech face masks to fight pollution

Sponsored by:

Innonix Technologies Limited

Smarter anti-pollution protection for Kids

Protect yourself and your family from escalating air pollution with face masks that can effectively screen out PM2.5 particulates and neutralise toxic gas.

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 9:31am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 9:31am

[Sponsored Article]

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2012 around 7 million people died as a result of air pollution exposure. This was one in eight global deaths. An independent research done by Berkeley Earth has also reported that 4,000 people die everyday in China from PM2.5 (particulate matters smaller or equal to 2.5 micron in size) pollution, which amounts to 1.6 million per year, or 17% mortality, in the country alone.

More recently, a report released by UNICEF last October revealed that two billion children, live in areas with high toxic levels of outdoor air pollution – higher than the WHO safety level of AQI 30. Out of these 2 billion children, 620 million live in South Asia, 520 in Africa and 450 in East Asia. The NGO has expressed its grave concern as air pollution causes not only deaths and respiratory diseases, but also damage the children’s developing brains, and by extension, their futures.

The two most lethal components of air pollution are PM2.5 and toxic gases like Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Sulphur Dioxide (SO2). Particulate matters, often a result of forest fire, coal burning and power generation, tend to make news headlines and are more noticeable by the general public. Toxic gases, mainly from vehicle emission, get increasing attention from scientists and researchers for their adverse health effects including lung and cardiovascular diseases, stroke, asthma, as well as developmental impairment in children.

National governments have acknowledged the severity of the problem and pledged to combat air pollution among other environmental issues. However, everyone should deal with the matter immediately at hand, and protect themselves when exposed to pollution. The easiest thing to do would be to use a face mask but for the best possible protection, one should choose a mask that can guard against both particulate matters and toxic gases.

Dual protection against PM2.5 and toxic gases

Conventional anti-pollution masks can only filter out particulates like PM2.5 but offer no protection against toxic gases. This is inadequate especially for people living in cities, where exposure to oxidized toxic gases including NO2 from vehicle emission is high. A false sense of security might cause more harm to everyone and children in particular.

Launched in November last year, RespoKare Anti-Pollution Mask is the only mask in the market that protects the wearer from both PM2.5 particulates and toxic gases. It is a five-layer mask made from technologically advanced materials that allow the wearer to breathe cleaner air. While the filtration layers filter at least 98% of PM2.5 particulates, the Active Respo Layer neutralizes over 90% of toxic gases like NO2 and SO2. The cone-shaped design allows wearer to breathe easily while wearing the mask.

Aspen Research Laboratory in Minneapolis, USA, has validated RespoKare Anti-Pollution Mask’s ability to remove NO2 and SO2.

RespoKare Anti-Pollution Mask is developed by Hong Kong-based Innonix Technologies Ltd., a rapidly growing innovation company with 21 technology patents worldwide. Its first product was the first and only US FDAcleared anti-viral mask in the OUK category (Surgical Mask with Antimicrobial / Antiviral Agent). The latter is capable of inactivating 99.99% of 18 flu viruses and measles within five minutes. It is effective against SARS and MERS and can achieve 99.99% inactivation of standard surrogate coronavirus within a minute.

“Other face masks in the market are mostly three-ply masks that can only filter particulate matters but cannot neutralize toxic gases. RespoKare Antipollution Mask is the only mask that is capable of doing that in addition to filtering PM2.5. It provides active protection by scavenging toxic gases in the polluted air,” said Allan Ang, Managing Director of Innonix.

These well-made masks are also reusable. While how long one lasts depends on the amount of pollution it is exposed to, it comes with a RespoKare proprietary indicator that can be affixed on the mask and changes colors according to the intensity of NO2 in the air. Users should dispose of the mask when the indicator turns from blue to dark green.

“As a company we have gone to great lengths with our mission to protect the community from respiratory threats and has now undertaken a larger objective of promoting a social discipline of wearing face masks, whenever the situation requires it and not to wait until the next episode of haze or flu epidemic,” explained Ang.

He pointed out that even when indoors, people could still be exposed to dangerous levels of toxic gases, including those who work long hours in the kitchen. “So wearing a mask is a good habit to have. Don’t see it as something that encumbers you but rather a protection.”

All RespoKare products are designed and tested in the US, and manufactured in the Innonix’s state-of-the-art, ISO 13485-certified facility in Shenzhen. Curad, the biggest seller of ant-viral face masks in the US, also employs Innonix’s technology to produce its masks.

RespoKare Anti-Pollution Mask has been launched in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Hong Kong where it is available in Circle K convenient stores and some independent pharmacies. It is also distributed in the largest pharmacy chain Mercury in Philippines and Caring pharmacy in Malaysia.