Face masks have become a part of life since the pandemic began, because they’re the most effective means to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Claros Technologies, St. Paul, Minn., a spinoff from the University of Minnesota, has developed a mask that it says is capable of killing the virus. Mike Miller, the president of The Airtex Group, Claros’s textile manufacturing partner, calls it “a game changer,” according to TV station KSTP in Minneapolis.
According to the Claros website, the LOG3Mask offers a high Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE), blocking over 95 percent of small and large particles. A proprietary zinc solution is infused into a fabric, then heated to form zinc nanoparticles that won’t wash out. The company says its new treatment, called ZioShield, kills viruses on contact, reaching over 99.9 percent inactivation within 10 minutes. The treatment was tested on alpha coronavirus as a surrogate to SARS-CoV-2.
The Zio Shield treated mask fabrics are third party dermatologist tested and found to be non-irritant and hypoallergenic. The treatment remains effective with as many as 100 launderings, with no particles found in the water.
The two-year-old company has been funded in part by the U.S. Dept. of Defense, developing textiles for military applications. Claros’s efforts were recently recognized by the 2020 Minnesota Tekne Award in Sustainable Resources.