Janet Bealer Rodie, Assistant Editor
he Fosshield Technology Division of Foss Manufacturing Co., Hampton, N.H., has developed
an antimicrobial technology by which it embeds AgION™, a silver-based inorganic zeolite, in its
solution-dyed polyester Fossfibre® bicomponent fiber. Fossfibre with AgION is suitable for all
textile applications in which antimicrobial protection is desired.
Foss sells the product to companies that manufacture textiles for such markets as hospitality, medicine and health care, travel and others. It has also recently entered the consumer market by introducing its own product - Fosshield® antimicrobial cleaning wipes.
The heavy-duty nonwoven wipes can be used throughout the home to clean everything from countertops, sinks and bathrooms to dishes - any non-fabric surface that needs to be cleaned. Foss claims they can be used wet or dry; with or without soap, detergent or other cleaning agents. The wipes will hold up for weeks and can be washed many times, even with bleach, without destroying the antimicrobial properties, thus reducing waste while maintaining their freshness.
Silver has long been recognized as an effective inhibitor of bacterial growth. As an early
example, says Foss, the ancient Egyptians used it 6,000 years ago as a lining in vessels intended
for long-term water storage.
More than 650 strains of bacteria, yeast, fungi and mold are known to be vulnerable to silver's antimicrobial properties. In addition, it is all-natural, inert and nontoxic. In laboratory testing, AgION has destroyed 99.99-percent of many infection- and odor-causing bacteria. As well, because AgION is inorganic and not a drug-based antibiotic, bacteria are not able to develop resistance to its properties.
The bicomponent fibers in Fossfibre are specially designed so that AgION is found only on the sheath, providing optimum exposure to the destructive bacteria. Foss claims the silver zeolite molecule is extremely stable, even under the most severe production conditions, withstanding temperatures of up to 800°C and having a pH stability of 3-10.
Fossfibre with AgION is also available with additional additives to provide fire retardation, ultraviolet stabilization, conductivity, stain resistance and moisture transmission. As well, it can be blended with cotton, wool, silk or flax.
For more information about Fosshield Antimicrobial Technologies, contact Al Bobst (603) 929-6092; (800) 746-4018.