AgResearch helping people to breathe easier

With air quality an increasing concern for people around the world, AgResearch is doing its part in the development of innovative pollution masks that protect the everyday health of users.

AgResearch scientists have worked with fibre innovation company Lanaco (formerly Texus Fibre) in the development of its wool filter technology being used in pollution masks now being marketed around the world. The technology traps harmful substances before the users breathe them in, as well as being easy to breathe through.

The products launched to date include one mask branded the “world’s most breathable urban lifestyle air pollution mask”, and another range launched recently by Auckland firm Healthy Breath working with leading fashion designer Karen Walker.

“Basically we sat down with Lanaco and applied our specific knowledge to figure out what sort of wool would work best in the filters, which sheep we need to get the wool from and how best to source it,” says AgResearch Science Team Leader Stewart Collie.

“It’s fantastic to see New Zealand wool being a foundation for these products that will be used around the world to improve peoples’ health, and our science being a part of that too.”

“We are now entering into the next phase in our relationship with Lanaco around the research and development going into the filter technology, and we’re excited to continue to play a part in the continued growth of these products.”

Lanaco Chief Executive Nick Davenport says: “In partnership with AgResearch, we’ve been able to bring to life a revolutionary, high value product using local science, research and development right here in New Zealand”.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer an innovative product that will improve the health of millions of people worldwide, and at the same time provide opportunity for New Zealand farmers and economic benefit through increased demand and value of wool.”