Chandler facility used to house new kind of mask - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler facility used to house new kind of mask

March 12th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
Chandler facility used to house new kind of mask

By Kristine Cannon
Staff Writer

Innonix Technologies earlier this month used its Chandler facility to unveil the first FDA-cleared anti-viral mask for children.

The mask, which is part of the RespoKare line of face masks, quickly destroys 99.99 percent of human coronavirus, as well as influenza and other viruses, within minutes of contact.

“As the more dangerous COVID-19 variants are quietly spreading, Arizona has seen record infection numbers. While most Americans protect themselves by wearing masks as a physical barrier from the virus, RespoKare steps further by destroying viruses on contact,” said Kevin MacDonald, managing director of Innonix Technologies USA LLC, which is headquartered in Scottsdale.

Other masks in the RespoKare line include a surgical grade flat mask and a N95 respirator model.

All masks use the same lab-tested, patented technology that features an anti-viral layer of rayon material coated with concentrations of copper and zinc ions.

The copper and zinc ions destroy viruses within minutes once they hit the mask’s surface.   

The four-layer design of the mask includes: the outer layer, which traps contaminated droplets; the patented anti-viral layer, which destroys pathogens with the use of copper and zinc ions; the filter layer, which traps fine particles; and the liquid-resistant inner layer, which provides further protection.

The mask achieves a 99.9 percent inactivation of viral particles within one minute; and when tested against 15 different strains of influenza, it achieves a 99.9 percent inactivation in less than five minutes.

“We are creating awareness of our premium masks and offering them to people who are looking for a quality mask with added anti-viral technology. We hope to play a role in mitigating Arizona’s pandemic,” MacDonald said.

The RespoKare line of masks is currently in stock in Arizona at Walgreens and Walmart.

The RespoKare Anti-Viral Mask and the RespoKare N95 Respirator Plus also available for sale through three authorized resellers, including Protectly, Peel Away Labs, and Wellbefore.

The masks are affordable, too.

The ASTM level 3 surgical grade masks in adult and child sizes are $2.49 each and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-approved N95 Respirator Plus, which is available in medium and large sizes, is $4.99 each.

“We believe it’s a fair price for a better product,” MacDonald said.

While more than 633,000 Maricopa County adult residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the county’s website, MacDonald believes the demand for masks won’t go away.

“A year and a half ago, most of our clientele were Asian Americans [who] traditionally wear masks when they’re sick. So now, what we found is that post-pandemic the demand for masks probably won’t go away. These can be used in operating rooms,” MacDonald said.

Innonix Technologies’ facility in Chandler is currently stocked with 1.8 million masks, 30,000 of which will be donated to low-income senior citizen facilities, in-class elementary teachers, and police officers.

The Phoenix Police Foundation received 8,000 masks and allocated them to the Phoenix Police Department.

“The significance of this is, one, we’re providing additional coverage for our patrol officers to use,” said Timothy Thomas, President of the Phoenix Police Foundation.

“When they’re out there, they have a lot of encounters with our citizens, and they also frequently encounter citizens that may not have a mask,” Thomas continued. “They might not have a quality mask; so, having these 8,000 masks provides an opportunity for some positive engagement with our officers.”

Scottsdale Unified School District was also a recipient of the masks, and Tavan Elementary School, specifically, received theirs on Feb. 25.

“These masks complement the district’s ongoing virus-mitigation strategies that have allowed us to offer in-person instruction to Scottsdale students since last fall,” said SUSD Superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel.

“Home-grown solutions to a global issue say a lot about the people we call our neighbors,” Menzel added.