Face masks are generally worn not to protect the wearer, but to protect their surroundings from the spread of pathogens. But Brno-based company Respilon has developed a revolutionary facemask that actively works to capture and kill viruses.
The new product incorporates both a nanofiber weave, which is small enough to prevent the entry of pathogens, along with a layer of copper oxide nanoparticles that actively kill viruses including the coronavirus when it comes into contact with them.
Respilon has worked together with an Israeli partner that developed the copper dioxide nanoparticles in order to produce the masks.
“Thanks to the combination of nanofibers with copper oxide, it effectively protects against coronavirus, but it remains available to the public alongside government institutions and healthcare professionals,” Respilon director Roman Zima told reporters at a press conference today.
While work on the masks has been conducted at facilities in Israel and Turkey, production will take place in the Czech Republic.
The masks will go into local production on March 25, and be available to both healthcare providers and the public from mid-April. Pre-orders can be placed on the Respilon website from March 20.
Respilon will offer two types of the mask, ReSpimask Virus Killer and RespiPro Virus Killer, the second of which includes a FFP2 respirator. They will be sold for 200 and 315 crowns, respectively.
The masks are certified to last for up to 24 hours of use, but not necessarily consecutively; if you wear one for three hours a day, it can last a week.
The Czech Republic is currently facing a shortage of even standard face masks. Inmates at Czech prisons have begun to produce face masks in order to fill the need.
From today, Prague’s public transport authority DPP has required all passengers to wear protective masks, though scarves and other DIY methods are acceptable as long as the nose and mouth is covered.