A new, locally developed reusable mask offers N95-grade protection against both the haze and the Covid-19 virus, and provides a better fit for Asian faces.
The Air+ Reusable Mask by ST Engineering, like the N95 mask, can filter 95 per cent of particles between 0.1 and 0.3 microns in size, including dust and smoke particles found in the haze, and the Covid-19 virus, which is 0.1 micron in size.
It also has an antimicrobial coating shown to kill 99.9 per cent of viruses and bacteria, including the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus, for up to 30 washes.
The mask should be washed whenever it is dirty, the company said.
The five-layered mask's outside layer is treated with antimicrobial technology that can destroy viruses rapidly by breaking down the viral membrane.
The mask is targeted at users who are at greater risk of exposure to viruses and those who want a more sustainable option with higher protection.
It is also ergonomically designed for better comfort and a more secure fit to Asian facial profiles, said ST Engineering yesterday.
The company previously launched Air+ disposable masks with N95-class protection.
The new mask's unique 3D structure provides an expanded breathing space around the nose and mouth area to prevent the mask from collapsing, and is contoured to reduce friction and abrasion on the cheeks and jawline.
Mr Gareth Tang, senior vice-president and head of robotics and autonomous solutions and urban environment solutions at ST Engineering, said: "With mask-wearing becoming part and parcel of daily life and the emergence of more transmissible coronavirus strains, we continue to see consumer interest in high-performance reusable masks."
He said high-filtration efficiency and a good facial fit are the two key criteria that determine a mask's effectiveness.
The mask was developed in collaboration with Temasek Foundation.
It comes in medium and large sizes and retails at $18 a piece.
For every reusable mask sold from this month till February next year, ST Engineering will donate $2 to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.