Experts agree that highly effective face filtering devices offer our best first-line defense against disease-causing organisms, industrial and environmental airborne contaminants.
While no face filter can eliminate disease, more efficient, easy-to-fit designs can reduce transmission and disease severity.
The founder of the company has worked in R&D for medical devices over several years developing clinical diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, cancer and more recently in the biopharmaceutical field working with companies developing vaccines and therapeutic antibodies.
Our personal experience of contracting respiratory infections in conjunction with air travel led to the conclusion that the HEPA filtration systems in airplanes and HVAC designs in other forms of public transportation were insufficient in controlling transmission of airborne disease. Recognizing that personal protection equipment is the best way to reduce transmission, we began development of next-generation technologies in the fall of 2019. Those of us who have worn barrier face coverings are familiar with their fundamental problems: 1) A tight fit is critical to good filtering efficiency but difficult to achieve and maintain and 2) the lack of breathability causes feelings of suffocation, fogging of eyewear, smell, heat, the social stigma of mask wearing. These factors result in people not wearing the mask correctly or disdaining its use altogether.
Our efforts to overcome those limitations led to evaluation of non-traditional designs and materials. Traditional test methods used to certify face filtering masks measure filtration of salt crystals under the assumption that all particles should filter the same. Furthermore, some of those tests are performed using a “perfect seal” such that air can only go through the filter matrix. This overstates the practical filtration efficiency under actual wearing conditions where much air gets into the lungs around the mask periphery. For that reason we developed a number of new test procedures to measure performance under real-use and practical fit conditions. Test methods were developed to quantitate bacteria and virus infiltration as well as other hazardous environmental and industrial particles. We developed an apparatus that quantitates exfiltration of particles from infected wearers. In addition, we developed tests to measure physiological effects of face filtering devices for heart & respiratory rate and blood oxygen.
These more relevant and comprehensive analytical methods enabled the development of a new technology that operates using a principle of physics superior to the simple, size-exclusion mechanism of filtration used by existing face masks. This next generation technology is called “ion capture”. See our Ion Capture Technology video. It functions by principles of electro-physics using multiple layers of special woven fabrics that have as part of their molecular structure both positive and negative ionic charges. Ion capture together with ease of fit reduces particles getting into the lungs by 10 to 100 fold over conventional non-woven mechanical filtering masks.
Our ION Gaiter, ION Wrap & ION Scarf designs provide better breathability, comfort and casual look compared to conventional masks and respirators. Our products are washable and thus more cost effective and environmentally sustainable than disposable masks. We are American developed and owned. Garment sewing is performed in China, requiring the label "Made in China". Final critical manufacturing steps to activate the ionic capture functions and to assure cleanliness and destruction of microbes are performed in the USA. Lastly, we are actively committed to educating all stakeholders; the industry, regulators, and the general public, that better technologies are possible and that we should not allow conventional devices, old methods and assumptions to hold back innovation.