KYMIRA's latest innovation couldn't have come at a better time.
As a technology company with a focus on life enhancement, we've been racking our brains on how best we can contribute to the fight against COVID-19. Especially now, it seems that every company from your local corner shop to huge fashion houses has released PPE products – and it can be confusing for consumers to know what to buy, and ultimately what's best going to protect them and their loved ones.
Masks are now a staple in our everyday lives, and after the initial scarcity of PPE consumers now find themselves spoilt for choice. Between the colourful cotton masks, disposable blue surgical masks, and assorted face coverings people have adopted for daily use – all these options have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to levels of comfort, price and protection.
We don't do things by half at KYMIRA, so we knew if we were to enter the market and produce masks the final product had to address all the issues that other masks just couldn't – it had to be perfect. The KYMIRA K Mask, with the integrated Nanofibre K-Filter, is designed to protect you from viruses, bacteria and environmental particulates. It boasts a 99.6% filtration efficiency that is rated as one of the best in the world.
The K-Filter really is the shining star of this release, and the technology that produces this incredible filtration efficiency is the result of an already ongoing project here in KYMIRA's Research and Development department. This existing technology, an electrospun nanofibre material, was developed in partnership with Radical Fibres.
THE K-FILTER: To go into more detail, the filter is comprised of 3 sandwiched layers: • Layer 1: Nanofibres capture viruses, bacteria and pollutants via electrostatic attraction. • Layer 2: Activated carbon layer for environmental pollutants. • Layer 3: Nanofibres capture viruses, and pollutants via electrostatic attraction.
The K-Filter is also designed to be reusable, so it will go on to protect you and those around you for 200 hours before it needs replacing. The issue with a lot of reusable masks is that they provide little to no filtration properties, but single use masks are not an ideal solution to this issue due to their huge environmental impact. With the K-Filter, you can incorporate world class filtration into any reusable mask (providing it has a filter pocket). We personally would recommend pairing it with the K-Mask to get all the additional comfort and benefits of our infrared technology, but the option is there to transform any masks you might already have and use the filter as you rotate a clean mask each day.
The filters have been independently tested to ASTM F2100, ASTM FT101 and EN 1486 standards, certifying the 99.6% filtration rating*. The K-Filter offer its protection for 200 hours and for particles as small as 0.03 microns. The effectiveness of the filtration level is due to this microscopic level of protection offered by the electrospun nanofibres, that ionically attract the particles before trapping them within the filter layers. To contextualise this, the Covid-19 virus has a particle micron size of 0.06-0.5 and bacteria has a particle size of 0.3 microns. Healthcare workers on the front line have so far been using N95 rated masks that have a particulate protection size of 0.3 microns; so the wearer can feel confident in their protection when using the K-Filter.
The nanofibres within the K-Filter are made from biocompatible hydrophobic material which are elastic and electrostatic, meaning they are highly breathable, flexible and will not become wet with water vapour from breathing. This also reduces the carbon dioxide re-breathing occurrence that is a problem among even medical grade respirators. This is why the KYMIRA K-Filter has proven itself to be one of the most effective air filters in the world.
*The Nanofibre K-Filter has been independently tested to ASTM F2100, ASTM FT101 and EN 1486 standards. PM2.5 particulate efficiency tests have been completed under ASTM F2299, and bacteria filtration testing under ASTM F2101. N95, which is determined by the seal of the mask to the face will need to be repeated for the washable replacement filtration mask. The nano fibres have been N95 evaluated, tested, and approved by NIOSH as per the requirements in 42 CFR Part 84. In Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, it is designated as a Class 1 Medical Device. EN149– Filtering face piece and particulate respirators. PM2.5 particular efficiency tests under ASTM F2299, and bacteria filtration testing under ASTM F2101. PM2.5 pollution is particularly harmful since it can penetrate human bronchi and lungs owing to the small particle size. Hence, long-term exposure to PM2.5 increases morbidity and mortality.
THE K-MASK: The K-Mask utilises a combination of the fabric technologies that have established KYMIRA as a leader in smart textiles. More breathable, more comfortable, and more effective – this mask has been created using cutting edge design and technology for the best possible experience.
The K-Mask is designed to house the Nanofibre K-Filter and is made from KYMIRA Kynergy® infrared fabric. This specialised fabric offers the wearer: • Temperature regulation, due to its efficiencies in cellular excitation and enhanced circulation • A cooling effect as you inhale • Antimicrobial properties & a minimum 35 SPF rating
Designed for comfort, prolonged use, and protection, the fit and design of the K-Mask is second to none. Available in sizes small, suitable for smaller or teen sizes and medium/large, the mask is designed to give a close fit, high up on the nose and wrapping around the cheeks towards the ears to provide greater protection to and from the wearer. The extended sides offer pressure balance, forcing the inhale and exhale to pass through the viral filtration, even with use at high exertion or during coughing or sneezing. This makes the mask ideal for not just everyday activities but for work, travel and playing sport too. The nose has a comfort strip underneath and a wired pinch bar so the wearer can ensure a close, comfortable fit – particularly good for glasses wearer who want to avoid condensation. The straps fit around the head, fastening on the crown of the head and at the nape of the neck, sparing your ears from discomfort during periods of long use. The adjustable velcro fastenings and stretchy infrared fabric ensure the fit is close to the individual wearer.
BEST USE 1. Wear the K-Mask with internal K-Filter, is best used whenever in public, or large groups of people – to protect yourself, and those around you. 2. Change the filter for a fresh K-Filter replacement after at least every 200 hours of use, for continued 99.6%* protection from viruses, bacteria and environmental pollutants. 3. The masks and filters can be baked in the oven at 60 degrees and this will ensure that all trapped virus and bacteria particles are killed. The mask itself is also machine washable at 30 degrees so it can fresh and clean (please note the filters should not go through the washing machine). 4. The infrared is continually beneficial, does not wear off with use, and the products are safe to use continually – certified by the FDA as a class I medical device.
At the time of writing, the K-Mask and K-Filters are available to purchase together on the KYMIRA Sport and KYMIRA Medical sites, alongside all our other Sport and Medical infrared products. Filters will soon be available to purchase separately, so they can be replaced after 200 hours of wear time is up. Stay tuned at @KYMIRA_HQ on Twitter for updates on launches, restocks and updates on the K-Mask and K-Filter.