Health care personnel from surgeons to first responders encounter increasing danger from antibiotic-resistant bacteria (such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA) and virulent strains of influenza virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently cleared the new SpectraShield™ 9500 Surgical N95 respirator mask for commercial use, and its use of FOSSHIELD® antimicrobial technology provides both patient and caregiver greater protection from deadly infections.
Nexera Medical Ltd., Richmond, B.C., Canada, a manufacturer of antimicrobial textiles, integrates FOSSHIELD technology into its products. FOSSHIELD, developed by specialty fiber company Foss Mfg., Hampton, N.H., provides silver and copper ion fibers that can be blended into almost any fabric without altering its characteristics. The metal ions pose no human or environmental health risk, and the antimicrobial fibers are 99 percent effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, including MRSA. The N95 respirator is recommended for infectious disease professionals preparing for pandemic influenza outbreaks, so the SpectraShield mask gives wearers multiple protective benefits.