Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Fosshield®?
A: Fosshield® is a revolutionary new antimicrobial technology that is clean, safe, natural, and effective against a broad spectrum of microbes. Studies have shown, the patented Fosshield® technology inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and fungus in a variety fabrics, polymers, and rubber materials with long-lasting protection.
Q: Why is “antimicrobial” capability best?
A: Antimicrobial is best because it is effective against a broad spectrum of microbes and even some yeasts.
Q: Is Fosshield® technology safe?
A: Yes. The antimicrobial agent’s naturally clean and safe antimicrobial properties of silver and copper are built right into your product without using unsafe synthetic or chlorinated chemicals. Fosshield® is also used in the FDA cleared SpectraShield™ 9500 N95 surgical respirator mask. Fosshield® incorporation was found to be safe when used in the breathing zone (offgassing) and against the skin (non transdermal). The FDA required tests of the mask confirmed Fosshield® technology to be non-leaching, while being safe for users and the environment.
Q: Is Fosshield® effective?
A: The key to the effectiveness of Fosshield® is the unique combination of silver and copper ions, which are incorporated into the fiber and naturally attack the microbes. The Fosshield® ions bind to any microbes that may be present on the fiber and disable their critical functions (metabolism, respiration, and reproduction).
Q: How does Fosshield® work?
A: The power behind Fosshield® is its silver and copper ions that are proven to prevent the growth of microbes on the surface of a product. Fosshield® is the technology incorporated in the FDA cleared SpectraShield 9500 N95 surgical respirator mask. In the FDA testing, Fosshield® began microbe prevention immediately and eliminated 99.99 percent of odor-causing bacteria after one hour of contact with the respirator surface.
Q: Where can Fosshield® be used?
A: Fosshield® is a highly-effective antimicrobial technology that is well-suited for many industries, including automotive, apparel, construction, consumer, healthcare, home, hospitality, and retail. Because Fosshield® can be incorporated into nearly any fabric, polymer, or rubber, it can be applied to an almost endless list of products where odor and microbial growth is not wanted, including clothing, footwear, carpeting, wall covering, bedding, pillows, furniture, HVAC air filters, surgical respirator masks, medical scrubs, and automobile interiors.
Q: What are silver and copper ions?
A: An ion is an atom or molecule that has unequal numbers of electrons and protons to give it a positive or negative charge. The Fosshield® silver and copper ions are given a positive charge and are attracted like a magnet to a microbe’s ion charged surface.
Q: Why silver and copper ions?
A: By combining both silver and copper, we provide enhanced and faster permanently embedded antimicrobial action. Fosshield® fiber is patented and is the first and only antimicrobial technology to successfully use a balance of silver and copper ions in a fiber.
Q: What is a microbe?
A: A microbe is a living organism too small to be seen by the human eye without the use of a microscope. Microbes can be bacteria, mold, mildew, or fungus. A virus is technically not a microbe, because it is not alive, however, it is generally accepted as a class of microbe, which may be inactivated. Typical examples of microbes of common concern are Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the Human rhinovirus (common cold), Steptococcus pyogenes (strep), Legionella pneumophilia (Legionnaires disease), Human Coronavirus (SARS surrogate), and Feline Calicivirus (Norwalk virus).
Q: What makes Fosshield® superior to other antimicrobial agents?
A: Fosshield® is blended right into the fabric, polymer, or rubber. FDA required testing of the SpectraShield™ 9500 N95 surgical respirator mask, found it to be non leaching, does not wear or wash off, and is safe for people and the environment.
Silver and copper are well-known antimicrobials that have a long, continuous, and effective history of fighting microbes. In fact, in 79 AD the Egyptians used silver for long-term water storage; in 1100, the Vatican mandated a silver goblet for the Eucharist; and the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Aztecs used copper compounds for the treatment of disease and good hygiene.
Q: Does Fosshield® cause bacterial resistance?
A: The development of microbial strains resistant to Fosshield® is extremely unlikely, since the organism would have to undergo simultaneous mutations in every critical function (metabolism, respiration, and reproduction) within a single generation to become resistant to both silver and copper ions.
Q: Does the silver and copper in Fosshield® leach?
A:The FDA required tests of the SpectraShield™ 9500 N95 surgical respirator mask confirmed Fosshield® to be a non-leaching technology.
Q: Isn’t silver a “heavy metal?”
A: The term “heavy metal” is often misused, and is generally used to refer to highly toxic metals (e.g. lead, cadmium). Silver is most commonly referred to as a “soft metal” and has low toxicity. The silver ions used in Fosshield® are less toxic than table salt!
Q: Can bleach be used on Fosshield® fiber and fabrics?
A: Yes, it is safe to use bleach on Fosshield® fiber and fabrics. In fact, bleaching can actually strip away some of the organic layers and expose more of the silver and copper ions and enhance their release. As with any fabric, bleaching must be done according to the labeled care instructions, so fiber damage does not occur.
Q: How long does Fosshield® last?
A: Following proper care instructions, Fosshield® lasts the life of the product and provides both immediate and continuous effectiveness.
Q: Does temperature affect the Fosshield® antimicrobial technology?
A: Cold does not affect Fosshield® antimicrobial technology. It is effective to a temperature of 800 degrees Celsius.
Q: How much Fosshield® is needed to be effective?
A: The amount of Fosshield® needed is dependent on what level of antimicrobial protection is desired. Our technologists can tune the amount of Fosshield® in an article to achieve a broad range of effectiveness from simple odor reduction to high levels of microbe suppression.
Q: Does Fosshield® prevent odors?
A: Yes. Fosshield® is highly effective against odor-causing bacteria.
Q: Can Fosshield® be dyed?
A: Yes. Fosshield® can be any color, including white.
Q: Is Fosshield® nano-technology?
A: No. Fosshield® particles are larger than nano-particles, which can move freely through the dermal layer and in between human cells (transdermal). Fosshield® is non transdermal.
Q: Is Fosshield® effective against pet urine odor?
A: Yes. Fosshield® eliminates pet urine odor in two ways. First, Fosshield® absorbs the ammonia and second, it prevents the growth of bacteria, fungi, and mold on the article it is protecting.
Q: Where can I find products protected by Fosshield®?
A: Because Fosshield® can be incorporated into almost any fabric, polymer, or rubber, it can be found in an almost endless list of applications and products, including clothing, footwear, carpeting, wall covering, bedding, pillows, furniture, HVAC air filters, respirator surgical face masks, medical scrubs, and automobile interiors.
Today, it can be found in several products, including the Nexera Medical FDA-cleared SpectraShield™ surgical respirator mask; the Roo Defender™ catheter cover; Xentris Wireless mobile phone covers; Uniskin by Joe Unitas athletic wear; Tiffin athletic mats; Hytex wall coverings; Costco carpeting; mattress ticking, pads, and batting, New Balance footwear; Stinson upholstery; and Jones mops.
Check back with us often, as Fosshield® is continuously being introduced into new products.
Q: Why is Fosshield® considered a “green” product?
A: Fosshield® is made from a combination of Foss’ own Eco-fi fiber — the fiber made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles — and natural, silver and copper ion antimicrobial technology. Many are surprised to hear that the silver ions used in Fosshield® are less toxic than table salt!
Q: Is Fosshield® FDA Cleared?
A: No. Individual products, not technologies, can achieve FDA clearance. However, Fosshield® is used in the FDA-cleared SpectraShield™ 9500 N95 surgical respirator mask. Fosshield® was found to be safe when used in the breathing zone (offgassing) and against the skin (non-transdermal). The FDA tests of the mask also found Fosshield® technology to be non-leaching, while posing no risk to users or the environment.
Q: Why do we strongly suggest our Clients adopt disclaimers for their marketing, sales, and other public documents?
A: The use of antimicrobials under the EPA’s treated articles exemption requires indication and clarity that the antimicrobial protection is limited to the treated article.
Q: What is an example disclaimer?
A: Fosshield® protected products contain an antimicrobial agent to suppress the growth of microbes and to prevent deterioration from bacteria, mold, mildew, fungus, and other microorganisms. Antimicrobial protection is limited to the treated article and does not protect a user against disease causing or food borne bacteria. Always follow recommended product cleaning practices.