In a year of global crisis due to COVID-19, with flexible/inflexible lockdowns and displacements reduced to a minimum, many things have changed. Others have disappeared from our everyday horizon. If there is one thing that has not been missing at all, it is the mask.
Wearing one is the new normality. And since March of last year, alongside the surgical and the N95 and N99 ones, several models in different shapes and materials have appeared. Some have focused on aesthetics, others on functionality. Some have been controversially successful, such as the U-Mask. New models have been appearing on our Instagram feeds all year. Many are focused on sustainability, in contrast to disposable masks which are not for obvious reasons.
Among the latest arrivals is Ioni Mask, an all-Italian product. This mask is realised to exploit the Fag+’s potential, the technology patented by Alessandro Zambelli to be applied on a small and large scale. Fag+ is, Zambelli explains, ‘an innovative material which, thanks to silver ion treatment, guarantees antimicrobial filtration’. This system is self-healing, and therefore does not need to be changed periodically as other masks, and is integrated in the Ioni Mask on a semi-rigid shell.
The material used for the latter is XL Extralight, in turn a cutting-edge technology, a closed-cell material that is ultra-light and latex, nickel, phthalates and heavy metals free. Slightly less light to wear than any surgical or cloth mask, this undoubtedly has the advantage of having a good smell – which preserves after the first uses – and of being comfortable on the face – especially if you do not have a beard. “Thanks to the material flexibility, we were able to pay particular attention to ergonomics, trying to limit the passage of unfiltered air to a minimum”, Zambelli adds. “This is the main reason why different sizes were developed; to ensure the best possible fit to the face. For us, it was essential that it guaranteed protection, pleasant wearability and improved ‘breathability’ compared to other masks with these filtering grades”. The antibacterial action keeps the mask sterile even when stored in a pocket or bag, and a rinse with soap and water is all it takes to keep it clean.
Grazie alla flessibilità del materiale, abbiamo potuto prestare particolare attenzione all'ergonomia cercando di limitare al minimo i passaggi di aria non filtrata
The lacing system is a compromise between simple and rudimentary, with a stretch string that can be passed behind the head or alternatively two supplied loops to loop around the ears.
A semi-rigid mask of this kind undoubtedly has some disadvantages: you cannot keep it in your trouser pocket, it does not fold up and it risks getting dirty during transport. On the other hand, the Fag+ technology which its filter is based on is non-toxic, antimicrobial, constantly active and above all self-healing. XL Extralight is a durable material. The mask is easy to sanitise. In short, you buy the Ioni Mask once and you can endlessly use it. As Matteo Ragni, art director of XL Extralight, points out, true sustainability lies in a device that you buy once and use for as long as possible.
In Ioni’s communication, probably so as not to repeat the ambiguity that led to a sea of criticism of the more famous U-Mask, it is stressed that this mask does not replace medical or personal protection devices, but falls within the category of free-sale facial masks. In any case, the Ioni Mask has a bacterial filtration efficiency of over 95%, ‘proven by Micro-B chemical and microbiological analysis laboratory, accredited by Accredia’, its creators explain. However, there is no precise information about its effectiveness against the Covid-19 infection.
- Ioni Mask
- XL Extralight
- Tecnologia di filtraggio: