The Sharkskin Envirus Hydrophobic Face Mask is designed to give extra protection where it may be needed.
This is a multi-layer design based on the best scientific data available. Sharkskin has worked with scientists, fabric experts, industrial and technical wear manufacturers to ensure to offer the best protection they can.
The generally accepted principle is that cloth masks will reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 by the user but some suggest they will not offer significant protection for the user. No mask can guarantee 100% protection but the Envirus Hydrophobic is designed to offer additional protection for you and those you come in contact with.
Fabrics: The Coronavirus appears to be primarily carried in water droplets. For this reason, Sharkskin's research indicates a choice of fabric tested to medical-grade Level 1 with a water repellent outer will increase protection.
Layer 1: The outer fabric passed an independent spray test to international standard AATCC 22-2017 at the highest rating of 100 indicating no sticking or wetting of the face. This fabric is very flexible for a great fit, additionally, it breathes well.
Layer 2: The inner/next to face fabric is permanently antimicrobial meaning it naturally starves and kills viral bacteria, fungi and bacteria over time. This fabric is also very flexible and breathes well.
Inner and Outer Layers are Australian Made Fabrics.
Extra Protection: A slot between the two layers allows for an additional disposable filter if required. The Sharkskin Envirus PM2.5 Filters are available in a pack of ten. The masks still function without these filters. The filter is an extra level of protection. While the masks are reusable the filters are not designed to be washed.
Fit and Comfort: If you observe people wearing masks in public, you will notice there are often gaps either down the side of the nose, under the chin or sides. Sharkskin has used years of tailoring expertise and chosen flexible materials to ensure a comfortable fit that minimises leakage.
Nose Bridge: The bridge of the nose is a point of leakage that affects many masks. Sharkskin has inserted a mouldable, comfortable nose bridge to ensure a better fit and less leakage. Just squeeze gently and push onto the nose and against the face across the bridge of your nose.
Durability: Sharkskin has tested the masks for 30 Industrial Wash Cycles at over 60 degrees and 30 drying cycles. Masks still repelled water and had no apparent degradation of water repellent properties. Sharkskin recommends replacing mask in less than 30-50 washes depending on condition. Water droplets should bead on the outer surface.
Over the Head Design: Envirus have tested many designs including around the ear. In their experience over the head designs are more comfortable. Their staff working in the mask construction area are required to wear masks during manufacture and are wearing them for a large part of the day.
Flexible and Adjustable Elastic: Envirus face masks use a thicker high-quality elastic which is flexible and provides a comfortable fit. The masks also feature an adjustable strap to accommodate various face sizes.
Sizing: Masks are unisex, one size fits all design. The face masks feature adjustable straps to accommodate various sizes. Masks will typically fit children above ten years of age.
Environmentally Friendly: Since February 2020, there has been an estimated 70% increase in discarded surgical and medical masks washing up on beaches across the world and also in built-up urban areas plus landfill. The Core ingredient of these masks is Poly Propylene and it does not break down naturally in the environment.
Australian Made: When you buy ENVIRUS you get the best money can buy, the service only a local manufacturer can give and you support fellow hardworking Australians. Envirus handcraft these Masks in their own Australian factory to the highest standard and use only the best materials available.
Sharkskin Envirus Hydrophobic Face Mask Features
- Fabric is medical-grade Level 1 with no sticking or wetting of the face
- Comfortable and mouldable nose bridge for a better fit and less leakage
- Fabric is permanently antimicrobial
- Fabric kills viral bacteria
- Reusable and Washable
- Built-in slot for adding optional PM2.5 non-reuseable filters
- Built to minimise air leakage
- A multi-layer design
- Flexible and breathes very well
- Australian Made
Envirus Mask Design
Envirus began the design of their masks well before the second COVID-19 wave and tested them across a wide variety of people including miners and heavy industry where they are used to wearing masks every day. Creating a mask for literally millions of different face sizes that provides a good seal breathes well and feels comfortable is not easy. For that reason many cloth masks follow a simple pattern that has gaping holes around the nose and side, is relatively loose-fitting and much of the air exchange is not filtered.
This basic design is still better than nothing as it takes the power out of your exhalation, cough or sneezes and as the experts say almost anything will help protect other people if you are infected. When you see a cloth mask move in and out as you breathe it's most likely because the air is going through the fabric and providing filtration on inhalation and exhalation. Envirus understands the mask may touch the lips in some circumstances on some individuals even when properly fitted but Envirus have had literally thousands of people use the masks and the overwhelming comment is that they take a bit of getting used to but then you don't notice them. In stark contrast, many workers in an industrial setting don't like wearing a P2/N95 mask after years of use.
Masks are new to most of us and no one has all the answers in this 'new norm', but we all need to work through this together. There is no doubt, in our new mask-wearing environment, that there is a great deal of information out there, much of it is conflicting and constantly being changed as everyone finds out more about this situation.
The goal of Envirus has always been to provide the best protective Australian Made product that they can. Envirus are doing their best to interpret the available information and they are constantly seeking expert advice to provide the best options they can.
Fitting Your Envirus Mask
It is very important to understand that everyone has a different size face. While the Envirus mask will fit a large number of people, you will need to adjust your mask to fit properly.
There are a number of actions you can take to ensure your mask fits well...
- Fit your mask with the top elastic across the crown of the head, near the top of the back of the head.
- The lower elastic strap should be around your neck and under your ears.
- Clamp the rigid nose bridle firmly over your nose to create a good fit and limit air leakage.
- Pull the mask down firmly under the chin so the fabric is relatively tight and tighten the toggle on the lower elastic strap to secure and maintain this stretch.
- Once fitted correctly wear the mask indoors for a while before you go outside. Play with the fit and get it right.
If you're like the vast majority of the population, you have never worn a mark and have no baseline to compare. The most important thing is to persist and you will get used to it.
Envirus Design Evolution
- Envirus are listening to all feedback and will take on board your comments.
- Envirus are constantly working on improving and developing their mask design based on feedback received from users.
- As an Australian manufacturer, Envirus can adapt quickly and implement change into their production immediately.
Envirus Mask Fit
If you were to look at many people all wearing the same Envirus Face Mask quite comfortably, you'd see none fit exactly the same. It's not just about the size of the face or head but shape. Distance from nose to chin, chin to neck, size of nose and angle of face — it's limitless. However, this is largely irrelevant with the Envirus design which is what makes this a good design based on the bulk of Envirus feedback and research.
Envirus use a combination of stretch fabrics and an adjustable lower elastic so you can stretch the fabric. Provided the mask covers and gives a seal around the mouth and nose, and the mask comes just under the chin, or all the way down the neck, depending on your face size, the seal will not change.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Liquid Titanium and how does it work?
Liquid Titanium is a brand name. The product infuses titanium nanoparticles in fabric for their anti-microbial properties. Envirus has developed a new fabric which will soon be available with enhanced antimicrobial properties.
Are your masks reusable?
Yes, Envirus have tested the Hydrophobic masks for 30 Industrial Wash Cycles. The mask still repelled water and had no apparent degradation of water repellent properties. We would recommend replacing masks in less than 30-50 washes depending on condition.
How many layers are in the mask?
The Everyday mask features two layers. The Hydrophobic mask features two layers with a pouch where a PM2.5 Filter may be added to provide extra protection, essentially applying three layers.
Where are the masks made?
Envirus masks are made in Newcastle, NSW by their team of designers and seamstresses.
Can I wash the PM2.5 filter?
No, While the masks are reusable the filters are not designed to be washed.
Can I exercise in my mask?
The World Health organisation states people should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably. Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms. The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain a physical distance of at least one and a half metres from others.
Do you make masks for children below the ages of ten?
Currently, Envirus do not offer facemasks for children below the ages of ten. However, Envirus is a continually evolving brand and is currently developing further products. Stay on the lookout for updates.
How To Wear A Facemask?
Cloth face masks should be worn in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as in supermarkets and in areas of significant community-based transmission. Masks are considered an additional measure and are not a substitute for other safe practises such as social distancing, proper hand sanitising and testing.
- Sanitise hands before handling mask
- Place mask over mouth and nose
- Pull elastics over head for snug fit
- Mould nose bridge to fit face
- Do not touch your mask while wearing it
Remove the mask by lifting off without touching the front of the mask or your face. Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask. If you accidentally touch your mask, wash or sanitise your hands. Wash in hot water with detergent between use and dry.
For more information on fitting masks and best practises head to the World Health Organisation page Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: When and how to use masks.
- Wash Masks at 60 degrees celsius using mild detergent.
- Do not use Chlorine
- Do not use Bleach
- Avoid Rough Surfaces
- Warm to Hot Tumble Dry
- Everyday Mask: Water Repellent treatment will degrade over time.
- Hydrophobic Mask: Has been tested at 30+ wash cycles with no visible degredation of water repellancy.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap or sanitiser before fitting. Look in the mirror to check fit and check for potential leak points. Do not touch the front of a mask once fitted. Remove using straps without touching the front of the mask. Wash in hot water with detergent between use and dry.
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that any mask will protect against infection and masks are not a substitute for all other precautions including social distancing and proper sanitisation of hands. While Sharkskin has used the best information available to them, information evolves on a regular basis and they make no specific claims regarding the effectiveness of the masks against Coronavirus COVID-19.
See also, Sharkskin Envirus PM2.5 Filter 10 Pack.
Sharkskin Envirus Research
Sharkskin Envirus is a proudly Australian owned manufacturer who makes high-quality reusable cloth face masks suitable to assist in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.
The function of cloth masks in containing the spread of COVID-19 has been advocated widely both in Australia and across the world. At Envirus they aim to take it one step further and provide a mask solution that provides a greater level of protection than standard cloth. As such they have made their initial mask offering out of specifically selected fabrics, with inherent waterproofing and/or Antimicrobial and Antiviral properties.
Initially they have employed a cloth containing Liquid Titanium which is a brand name associated with a fabric that incorporates charged Titanium dioxide (TiO2) particles which are incorporated into the yarns. Titanium dioxide (Britannica: Titanium dioxide) naturally occurs as a powder and is widely used today as a white pigment and in the pharmaceutical industry in such products as toothpaste, cosmetics and sunscreen. Liquid Titanium yarns were patented in 2013 and have many claimed therapeutic benefits and as such have already been used in the equine industry for many years.
The therapeutic claim of Liquid Titanium fabric that interests Envirus, is that it has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. This claim is at least partly supported by numerous independent scientific reports on the antimicrobial and antiviral properties of Titanium dioxide itself in various forms. See Interaction of titanium dioxide nanoparticles with influenza virus, and Antibacterial and antiviral potential of colloidal Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles suitable for biological applications.
As COVID 19 is relatively new, little research is available specific to a COVID virus however substantial research is now being undertaken globally as to how this fabric and nanotechnology can assist in the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic. See Nanotechnology and nanomaterials solutions for COVID-19: diagnostic testing, antiviral and antimicrobial coatings and surfaces, air-borne filtration, facemasks, PPE, drug delivery and therapeutics.
Even though not all the research has been completed, whilst Envirus catch-up, they still felt the need to get the best possible product into the Australian market now as the need is urgent. This is unusual, but as most of you will appreciate, these are unprecedented times.
Please do note that Envirus are confident in their products and are in the process of undertaking our their independent research and gaining accreditations for their products and the fabrics they use. Envirus is currently working with the Australian Federal Government through the Innovations Connections Facilitation program who have connected Envirus into both the CSIRO and other Australian research facilities to undertake testing and product development which includes the following:
- Antiviral properties including surface efficacy testing via Associate Professor Nathan Bartlett, Head of Viral Immunology and Respiratory group, Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI)
NB: this test uses the virus OC43 which is in the same genus as SARS-CoV-2 (COVID 19).
- Differential pressure test (EN 14683Annex C) via CSIRO
- Blood penetration testing (ISO 22609) as referenced by AS 4381:2015 for P2 medical masks via CSIRO
- Blood filtration efficiency test (EN 14683 Annex B) also as referenced by AS 4381:2015
As soon as Envirus have the test results available they will be making their announcements.
Please also note Envirus are also going to be testing various other fabrics including one that contains silver as independent research has also shown silver also has antiviral properties, see Silver Nanoparticles as Potential Antiviral Agents. As Envirus complete testing they hope to improve and extend their range of products so they can, in turn, provide you with their customers, with the best available product, most suitable to your specific needs.
All Envirus tests will be conducted on both the raw fabric and on products that have undergone repeated and numerous uses, and washes to confirm the products truly are reusable.
At Envirus their message remains unchanged:
- They are a proudly Australian owned company looking to support the Australian economy by maintaining and growing Australian based manufacturing capability
- They aim to be part of the solution to protecting the Australian public from the blight of COVID-19 (in conjunction with social distancing and the other government recommended actions)
- They want to reduce the environmental impact of COVID-19 by reducing the amount of disposable PPE that is ending up in our landfills and our oceans
- They want to grow the company so they can showcase Australian quality and provide their product worldwide
SHARKSKIN™ is proudly Australian Made and Owned, manufactured in Newcastle, NSW. Sharkskin created the category of technical watersports apparel more than 25 years ago and since then they have made more than one million garments in their own factory and proudly export this Australian made range all over the world.