An Israeli company has succeeded in creating a washable mask fabric that claims to kill 99.87-99.99% of all germs including the coronavirus. Most aptly, in a powerfully Israeli manner, they are working with prophecy along the way too.
Sonovia started out in 2013 working on a revolutionary “sono-chemical” coating that was the result of over 10 years of research at Bar Ilan University under Prof. Aharon Gedanken.
At the time, they were focusing on anti-microbial textiles for long-term use in hospitals but when the pandemic began, the team realized that their technology could be enormously helpful in helping to alleviate the shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE). The patented new technology uses calibrated ultrasonic soundwaves to chemically treat fabrics in order to combat the transmission of bacteria and viruses. This occurs by permanent treatment at the textile-fiber level with high-efficacy Zinc-oxide nano-particles evenly-embedded that destroy bacteria, fungi, and viruses through a safe and renewable biological reaction.
They started by creating a limited number of prototype masks and distributing them to non-profits in Israel and to Tel HaShomer hospital, one of the first hospitals in Israel to open a coronavirus unit. They decided they needed to do some serious testing and chose the MicroSpectrum Weipu Jishu lab in Shanghai. Tests showed that the masks neutralized more than 90% of the coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) to which they were exposed according to ISO 18184.
The new germ and virus-fighting fabric used in the SonoMask has been lab-certified to filter over 98% of particles up to 5 microns, meeting WHO standards and representing a significant improvement over the American and European FFP (filtering facepiece) benchmarks. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of their mask is that it is reusable, maintaining its protective properties through more than 65 industrial wash cycles.
“The mask can be worn every day and washed once a week,” Dr. Jason Migdal, the Microbiology Research and Development Strategist for Sonovia told Breaking Israel News, noting that with after one year of use, the mask will still retain its anti-viral effectiveness. “It is also reversible, providing two-sided protection.”
This eliminates the need to frequently replace masks or filters, significantly reducing waste, making the product environmentally friendly as well as economical. Their technology uses +50% fewer chemicals than the current methods of fabric finishing (padding, extrusion) which are also much less durable, making it nontoxic to both humans and the environment.
The market for PPE is fast-becoming a flooded market with many unregulated and sometimes unsafe products. Despite the enormous demand, reusable antiviral face-masks currently, have a limited global presence. Sonovia is currently producing thousands of masks per day at its factory in northern Israel. The reusable masks are popular in Israel and the company has equally donated several thousands of masks to various medical and non-profit bodies in Israel.
The SonoMask is shipped internationally and can be purchased on their website and is now available on Amazon.
But as they move forward, improving their product to help battle the pandemic, charity continues to be an essential part of the process. Migdal; is a new immigrant, making Aliyah less than a year ago. The company wanted to help more Jews make aliyah and understood that travel is difficult during the pandemic. So they donated 200 masks to Nefesh B’Nefesh through co-founder Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, an organization that helps Jews make Aliyah from North America.
“The most vulnerable people are on the planes and at airports,” Migdal; noted. “But we also send out welcome packs to new immigrants.”
So, in a very real and practical way, this miracle of technology is paving the way for the miracle of the Ingathering of the Exiles.
But their charitable inclinations are not limited to aliyah. Sonovia was approached by Kazakhstan and provided the people of Kazakhstan, with the resources they need to start producing their own SonoMasks from specially prepared assembly kits. Additionally vital hospitals in Kazakhstan, the National Scientific Cardiac Surgery Center and the 1st City Hospital, received large care-packages of SonoMasks to use immediately.
“The CEO Josh ‘Shuki’ Hershcovich, has a picture on his wall of Rabbi David Abuchatzeira and is constantly seeking spiritual guidance from him,” Migdal said. “We are a very spiritual, I might even say Biblical company that believes in using technology to help the world.”
Sonovia is working to reduce production costs and expand its production to include additional protective products including medical gowns, linen, and clothing. It is conducting a pilot at Adler Plastic in Italy to use its anti-viral fabric in vehicles and public transport and has further trials concerning treated medical fabrics planned for testing use in Israeli Hospitals.
Thanks to a collaboration with Shenkar, Israel’s leading College of Engineering and Design, SonoMask comes in custom-designed sizes for men women and children each with an approximate FIT test application due to an inbuilt adjustable nose-band, adjustable earloops or head straps and an ergonomic shape which is now also available in black. For occupational workers such as dentists working in areas of high-risk of contamination, future models of the SonoMask may come with the option to insert a very fine 0.2-micron filter to protect against high-velocity aerosols.
Another significant application is treating fabrics to prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAI). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated roughly 1.7 million hospital-associated infections, from all types of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi combined, cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year in the US alone.
The company is in talks to supply Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and hospitals in South Carolina and Texas once they have completed Emergency Usage Authorization for FDA approval for medical personnel specifically under an anticipated new category of reusable, anti-viral PPE, and later by bringing in other medical fabrics to proceed to revolutionize the healthcare system.
To get your own corona-killing mask, click here.