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Finally, a mask that unmasks all masks

Daily Mirror 2020-05-21 09:00:00

The layers of Oxypura Care, directions for use and re-use

Not too long ago, the redness of blood was the easy and most frequently alluded to commonality by good hearted people decrying violence and destruction based on color, race, ethnicity, religious preference and creed. It still is, but there’s another ‘commoner’ fast catching up; The facemask. You can thank Covid-19 for that.

In the early days of the pandemic, when even less was known than the little we know now, opinion was divided on the efficacy of face masks. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) wasn’t sure if they were needed. Quickly, however, face masks were determined to be a non-negotiable preventive measure. This was followed by a debate over quality. 

Well, all that is in the past. While the world debated, a Sri Lankan company has come up with the real thing — ‘Care’ the latest addition to the Oxypura family. Not surprisingly, it’s manufactured by Puritas (Pvt) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Haycarb PLC. Haycarb, part of the Hayleys Group, is globally known for production of activated carbon, a key element used in gold extraction, respirators, cabin air treatment, chemical industries, drinking water purification, industrial air treatment, the pharmaceutical industry and super capacitors. The application of activated carbon (made of coconut shell charcoal) in face masks is logical since it is has amazing adsorption qualities. 

That’s what makes Care different and, well, places it way ahead of the competition; it contains an activated carbon filter which inhibits odoriferous chemicals including dangerous contaminants in the air we breathe. It also contains a performance driven particulate matter filter which prevents minute dust particles passing through it, ensuring a bacteria filtration efficiency (BFE) more than 99%. As such these masks offer protection in multiple environments and emission levels ranging from a normal dust environment to moderately contaminated industrial environments.

Care in fact is a special ‘child’ of the Oxypura family of face masks because it has an additional particulate matter filter capable of blocking sub-micron level particulates. This mask has shown more than 95% efficiency in filtering particles as small as 0.3 microns. Care does not let fluids to pass through, making it very effective face mask for general use in the Covid-19 pandemic. The manufacturer has attended to the details as well. Care mask comes in ear loop attachments, which can fit in to various face shapes due to its unique design. The mask can be adjusted to fit in to the nasal area of the user with the aid of the flexible metal wire inside, thereby minimizing the pass through of unfiltered air. Further, it can be reused and the duration can be recommended to be in the range of 1 to 2 weeks, although some users have reported that these masks are effective for as long as one month.

In retrospect one might say ‘bound to happen.’ Haycarb has produced activated carbon from coconut shell charcoal since 1973 and Puritas, set up in 1995. What Oxypura has done, then, is to draw from almost half a century of know-how in the manufacture and applications of activated carbon along with the experience in the application area of respirator protection to innovate an effective face mask. Puritas today is an environmental engineering solutions provider that has excelled in water, wastewater and sewerage treatment systems operating in multiple sectors in Sri Lanka as well as the Maldives, Thailand and Indonesia apart from introducing the novel activated carbon products to the market

Having launched the Activated Carbon Products Division in 2005 Puritas came up with solutions for odor control in garbage bins and refrigerators. The following year Oxypura developed face masks for motorcyclists, spray painters and farmers exposed to various chemical fumes. These comprised of 4 or 5 layers of protection which included Activated Carbon Filters, Particulate Matter Filter and the inner layer along with ear loop, head loop and velcro attachment types. 

The current Covid-19 pandemic created an urgency for a face mask that is affordable, durable meeting the required protection levels.  This is how the innovative team at Puritas came up with the Oxypura Care to fill that void in the local market and then realized its large potential for the export markets. 

At a time where Sri Lanka is show cased as an exceptional benchmark of Covid-19 pandemic control and effective management through very decisive, professional and novel ways, Oxypura Care will stand out as a novel, reliable and a benchmark product for respiratory protection in this pandemic by reaching out to the entire society in Sri Lanka through its extensive distribution channels, as a product of international standards with a proud “made in Sri Lanka” tag !!!

Key milestones of Oxypura