In the first test ever using the International Standardization Organization (ISO) method on the coronavirus on textiles, Polygiene ViralOff was confirmed as the first commercial textiles treatment to reduce the virus by more than 99 percent over two hours, the Swiss treatments company said.
The ISO applied its test to determine the antiviral activity of textile products treated with ViralOff.
“On one hand we were convinced even before the tests were in,” Ulrika Björk, CEO of Polygiene, said. “But now we have it on paper, and that has an enormous significance for our partners and for the end-users. After all, people all over the world discard or wash things every day out of the concern that the virus might be present in the textile. This takes a completely unnecessary toll on the environment.”
The purpose of treating textiles with ViralOff is not to protect the wearer from infection or make any other health claim, the company said, but to protect the garment. This means it does not have to be cleaned or disinfected.
Consumers already wash clothes where it is not really necessary, out of worry for odor and habit, Polygiene noted. Adding concerns over viruses will add to this. Beyond the environmental effects of wearing more and washing less, there are also countries that demand disinfection of products before they are sold, which a garment treated with ViralOff will do continually.
“There is one virus the entire world is focused on right now and there is one method that should be used to test on textile. We are very proud to be the first in bringing these two together,” Trevor Saunders, director of global textile operations at Polygiene, said.
Mats Georgson, chief merchandising officer, said commercially, the test designation “will translate to new opportunities for us” even though the company has been working off the knowledge that Polygiene had the effectiveness.
Polygiene said it will continue the tests across several materials, as well as washing durability.
Fellow Swiss textile technology company HeiQ’s Viroblock was among the first textile technologies to be proven effective in laboratory testing against SARS-CoV-2, the virus from the coronavirus family that causes Covid-19. It has been shown to be 99.99 percent effective in 30 minutes in tests conducted with the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia.
The Coats Innovation Hub–America in North Carolina, is adapting HeiQ Viroblock technology to create a new range of threads and engineered yarns suitable for application across a wide range of end-use products. Non-toxic and hypoallergenic, HeiQ Viroblock merges microsilver technology to attract virus particles that then combine with vesicle technology to break down the viral membrane within seconds. The microsilver technology uses recycled silver to enhance its sustainable offering, while the vesicle technology is bio-based.