Singapore

New mask offers N95-grade protection against Covid virus and haze

A new locally developed reusable mask offers N95-grade levels of protection against both the haze as well as Covid-19, and is a better fit for Asian faces.

The Air+ Reusable Mask by ST Engineering, like the N95 mask, can filter 95 per cent of particles between 0.1 and 0.3 microns in size, including dust and smoke particles found in the haze and the Covid-19 virus size which is 0.1 microns.

It also has an antimicrobial coating shown to kill 99.9 per cent of viruses and bacteria, including the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, for up to 30 washes.

The mask should be washed whenever it is dirty, the company said.

The five-layered mask's outer layer is treated with antimicrobial technology which attracts and binds to viruses, and it works by breaking the viral membrane in order to destroy viruses rapidly.

The mask is targeted at users who are at greater risk of exposure to viruses and those who want a more sustainable option with higher protection.

It is ergonomically designed for better comfort and a more secure fit for Asian facial profiles, said the company, which previously launched Air+ disposable masks with N95-class protection.

This reusable mask's unique 3D structure provides an expanded breathing space around the nose and mouth area to prevent the mask from collapsing, and is contoured to reduce friction and abrasion on the cheeks and jawline.

Mr Gareth Tang, senior vice-president and head of robotics and autonomous solutions, and urban environment solutions at ST Engineering, said: "With mask-wearing becoming part and parcel of daily life and the emergence of more transmissible coronavirus strains, we continue to see consumer interest in high performance reusable masks."

He said high filtration efficiency and a good facial fit are the two key criteria that determine a mask's effectiveness.

The mask was developed in collaboration with the Temasek Foundation, and comes in medium and large sizes, retailing at $18 a piece.

For every reusable mask sold from this month till February next year, ST Engineering will donate $2 to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.

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