At CES 2022 in Las Vegas, on 5 January, the French medtech AIRXÔM has unveiled the world’s first active mask providing protection from the effects of air pollution, viruses and bacteria.
This process is made possible by technological innovations incorporated into the mask, the result of 100% French-based R&D know-how.
Formed in Lyon, in 2019, by Vincent Gaston and Franck Glaizal, respectively the chairman and the managing director of AIRXÔM, the company was founded on the basis of two observations:
- The first of these is that atmospheric pollution is a major health issue; the deaths of8.7 million people in 2019 were linked to complications caused by air pollution. It can be the leading cause of premature deaths in France, and it has now been established as playing an important role in the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
- The second is the on-going need for large numbers of people to have effective viral and bacterial protection, involving in France:
- 20% of the population who suffer from respiratory allergies,
- millions of people affected by respiratory illnesses such asthma (alone affecting 4 million French people),
- around 971,300 employees in the health sector.
AIRXÔM: the 1st active, respiratory protection mask
The present most widely used solution to cover all these problems is the surgical mask. Generally adopted since the start of the pandemic to slow the spread of the virus, this mask has some obvious limitations: it is not re-usable, not 100% effective, and acts only as an initial barrier, unable to eliminate bacteria, viruses or volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
It is in this context, and to respond to these increasing challenges that AIRXÔM is launching the first active protective respiratory mask, the only durable solution which:
- filters micro and nanoparticles
- provides complete protection from viruses (including SARS COV 2), bacteria and volatile organic compounds (NOX, nitrogen monoxide, toluene, benzene, etc.),
- provides the user with the best protection/breathability,
- offers a strict returns and recycling programme.
The emission of UV rays on a catalyst destroys viruses, bacteria and volatile organic compounds. This patented catalytic process amplifies the action of the silver and copper particles contained in the different filtering supports.
As a result, the destruction of pathogens or pollutants from the size of microparticles to nanoparticles is guaranteed.
The effectiveness of the AIRXÔM mask has been verified by an experimental protocol carried out by independent laboratories with recognised expertise in the field (VIRNEXT: virus; CONIDAIR: bacteria; French National Metrology and Testing Laboratory: volatile organic compounds).
For instance, the virucidal tests carried out by the VIRNEXT Research Technology laboratory in Lyon demonstrated its effectiveness for:
– SARS-CoV-2, 99.94 % destruction,
– H1N1, 99.99 % destruction
– Adenovirus, 99.94 % destruction.
Production & recycling locations
In its concern for the environment, AIRXÔM is committed to production located as close as possible to the markets where the masks are sold:
– Europe: production in France (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region);
– Africa: production in Tunisia;
– Asia: production in Thailand.
Through its returns programme, AIRXÔM recycles all the recoverable components in mask production, to benefit people on low incomes.
Price & availability
The mask, weighing 130g, has a retail price of 300 € and is available from January 2022 from the airxom-mask.com website, and at pharmacies from February.
The masks are durable, with a lifespan of more than 4 years.
Some weeks ago, Business France reported that AIRXÔM was among 20 award-winning start-ups invited to take part in CES 2022, on the FrenchTech pavilion, from 5 to 8 January.
Hence, at the CES, the medtech AIRXÔM will unveil its ambitious objectives, in line with the issues they are intended to resolve over the next 5 years:
– Annual sales of over 100,000 masks worldwide, from the 5th year of launch,
– 150 new staff recruited in the Lyon region,
– Turnover of 50 million euros in sales across France, in Europe, the USA and Asia.
“We are certain that the protective mask we have developed in the past two years provides a simple and effective answer to a whole set of very serious health problems. We will be able to offer the greatest number of people a truly protective solution”, asserts Vincent Gaston, chairman of AIRXÔM, before going on to explain: “Respiratory protection is a topic close to our hearts, because of a family tragedy, and we set ourselves the task, day after day, to consider, design and promote the most effective mask in the whole world”.