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Over the past one year, people around the globe have adopted a new safety precaution: the face mask. But are they really effective? There are so many face mask options available out there, but do they all work the same way? Definitely not! Even though the primary aim of a face mask is to protect you from viruses and other infections, different types offer different levels of protection. When talking about protection, copper face masks should be given a special mention. Yes, you heard it right - it’s copper, the element which exhibits impressive antimicrobial properties.
Did you know that copper was used as a sterilizing agent long back in the 2nd century BC? Yeah! Don’t get surprised, it’s a true fact! Copper has played an integral role in folk medicine, and our great grandfathers employed copper to fight microbes long before microbes were named. Pretty cool, right?
Copper was frequently added to water to make it suitable for drinking, treating wounds, and also for general hygiene purposes by the ancient Romans, Greeks, Aztecs, and other ancient civilizations.
The Egyptians and Babylonian soldiers used to sharpen their bronze swords after battles and place the filings into their wounds so as to reduce infections and heal wounds. Confused about why use bronze and not copper? Lol, bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. The Greeks and Aztecs used to mix copper oxide and copper carbonate with chemicals like sodium carbonate, olive paste, and honey to cure various skin infections.
Copper is amazing. Decades of research shows that copper, its compounds, alloys, and solutions have the very power to eliminate microbes such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Acinetobacter species, Clostridium difficile, E.coli, influenza A virus, adenovirus, and Staphylococcus species. This metal is resistant to corrosion. That is, even if it turns green through oxidation, copper continues to be antimicrobial.
Now that you know the specialties of copper, there is no wonder that it is being used in face masks these days. But, how does copper face masks rank over the traditional face masks? Can copper face masks prevent the spread of coronavirus? You might be having so many questions like these in your mind. Fret not! We are here to solve all your queries.
When it comes to “contact killing,” no other masks can beat copper face masks. Copper has the potential to release reactive ions that can destroy the exterior of a germ. These ions can then access the interior part of the germ, thereby affecting its genetic material. Due to this ability, masks made of copper can be called a “grenade” that can literally explode and kill even the mightiest of viruses.
Suppose if a person is infected with a virus, the droplets that come out of the mouth or nose and land on the face mask. If you are wearing a copper face mask, the virus will be killed off in a matter of hours. On the other hand, if you are wearing a cloth mask, they could live on it for several days. In other words, these copper face masks are designed to be more hygienic.
Viruses get transmitted if someone touches an infected surface - say a handle or a doorknob - then touches their face mask. In such a case, the copper content in the mask would kill the viruses, whereas they would stay on a traditional cloth mask, contaminating the wearer. If you pick the virus with your hands, rub your eyes, or lick your finger, VOILA, you’re contaminated!
Copper-infused face masks could be a game-changer and a great way to short circuit the second and upcoming waves of coronavirus. When you are buying one, give prime importance to the material quality and breathability. At Turmerry, we have reusable copper face masks made with three layers of 100% organic cotton fabric for easy breathing. You can also look for masks with an additional filter as they offer extra protection.
The effectiveness of a copper face mask depends on the amount of copper present in it. Virus particles being very tiny should actually encounter the copper to be deactivated. So, the best copper masks would have copper incorporated into every single fiber, rather than just sprayed on.
Our copper masks have a “1% loading” of copper and silver which refers to the wet weight gain on the fabric. And yes, those are loadings that will be effective. We can’t imagine a fabric with 17% or 20% copper feeling good against the skin. We use a very efficient ion-exchange delivery system so we don’t need high amounts on the fabric. The controlled delivery of the ions from Agion means we don’t need to overload it to make it work.
Yes, you can wash your copper-infused face mask after each use.
The copper content in the mask kills the viruses in a matter of hours, thereby preventing the transmission of the infection.
If you are allergic to copper, do not use it. If you’ve already used and have allergic issues, we would recommend you consult a dermatologist immediately.