ISRAELI researchers have developed an electric face mask that cleans itself and could kill coronavirus.
The face covering is powered by a mobile phone charger, and will be sold for as little as $1.
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A team of engineers have invented a self-cleaning mask that kills off coronavirus by running an electrical current through the filter.
Researchers at the Technion Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering say the electricity will heat up a carbon fibre layer and kill off any viruses that have settled on it.
A patent for the face covering has been filed in the United States, and the team hope to make it available for just $1.
Many standard face masks are made to be disposed after one use, with the materials often taking years to degrade.
The new invention could help reduce the environmental impact of using billions of these disposable masks.
Campaign groups have already spotted masses of discarded face coverings washed up on beaches in Asia.
Gary Stokes, founder of OceansAsia, said the ocean pollution caused by disposable masks will be “substantial”.
It is not known when the self-cleaning face covering will be available in the UK.
It comes after another Israeli company created a mask with a mechanical mouth for people to use when eating.
Avtipus Patents and Inventions announced last week that it had created a mask with a hole that opens when a fork is brought close to the face.
The UK government has recommended that Brits wear face coverings in public to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
They said that masks should be worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible, including on public transport and in some shops.
Earlier this month, the Government said that covering your face could stop you passing Covid-19 on to others if you are asymptomatic or have yet to develop symptoms, and so are not self-isolating.
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said: “Wearing a face covering is an added precaution that may have some benefit in reducing the likelihood that a person with the infection passes it on.
“The most effective means of preventing the spread of this virus remains following social distancing rules and washing your hands regularly.
“It does not remove the need to self-isolate if you have symptoms.”
Health minister Jo Churchill said it is important that the public avoids using surgical masks, which are needed by NHS staff.
“You do not need a clinical mask, which are prioritised for our healthcare workers,” she said.
“Instead a face covering is sufficient and we encourage people to make these at home with items they already own.”
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