Medline Industries Inc.'s BioMask medical face mask has won the 2012 Chicago Innovation Award.

Medline Industries, BioMask, medical face mask, 2012 Chicago Innovation Award, Charlie Mills, Rahm Emanuel, Pat Quinn, Ionixx, Curad, flu viruses

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Medline earns kudos for BioMask

October 24th, 2012

MUNDELEIN, Ill. – Medline Industries Inc.'s BioMask medical face mask has won the 2012 Chicago Innovation Award.

The health care products company said Tuesday that BioMask — the first-ever Food and Drug Administration-approved antiviral, antimicrobial medical face mask — received the award at a ceremony in Chicago featuring Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

According to Medline, BioMask inactivates laboratory-tested flu viruses, including imminent pandemic and seasonal strains of influenza viruses, such as H1N1, avian flu and swine flu. The company noted that traditional face masks act only as an air filter and don't neutralize the harmful pathogens that remain active on the mask itself.

Medline said it was named as one of the 10 winners of the awards out of nearly 400 nominees across industries in the Chicago region.

"We are especially proud to receive this innovation award because BioMask has the potential to help protect health care workers, patients and vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immunities," stated Medline chief executive officer Charlie Mills.

BioMask uses proprietary Ionixx technology that incorporates three natural and safe ingredients — citric acid, copper and zinc — to inactivate viruses on the inside and the outside of the mask within five minutes, Medline said. The company added that the benefit of the BioMask is that it can provide protection from cross-contamination. The outer facing of the mask is frequently touched by the user, who then touches other things or people. And since BioMask inactivates 99.99% of the tested flu viruses on five minutes contact, the risk of spreading the virus is greatly reduced, the company said.

The BioMask was launched earlier this year under Medline's Curad brand  for the retail market. It's available at such pharmacy retailers as Walgreens, Walmart, Meijer, Albertsons and Winn-Dixie.

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