Next Safety Inc, West Jefferson, NC, announced that it is introducing the next generation in personal protection respirators. The company’s positive-pressure mask, integrated with nano-engineered filtering and ultraviolet lighting technologies, brings highly effective respirators to the global consumer marketplace, not only for pandemic protection but also for everyday use by asthmatics. Next Safety’s backpack-sized respirator delivers ultra clean, uncontaminated air to the user and will provide an application for the pulmonary delivery of pharmaceuticals and medicine.

This innovative respirator system allows for outside air to continuously be drawn into a base unit worn on a belt or in a backpack that includes a low-power air blower powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The air passes through a proprietary Next Safety ultra low-penetration disposable filter and is then fed through a disposable hose to the positive-pressure facemask. Contaminants and unfiltered external air remain outside as a result of the positive air pressure maintained by the mask. Revolutionary filters used in Next Safety’ s personal respirators trap airborne particles as small as 25 nanometers. Since most biological pathogens, including those for the avian influenza virus, known as H5N1, are in the 100-nanometer range, these infectious pathogens are removed from the air breathed through the respirator, which might help eliminate the spread of a pandemic.

Integral to the Personal Protection Respirator is the development intention between Philips Electronics and Next Safety. Philips Electronics intends to explore the development of a miniaturized, ultraviolet, low power system for the second generation Personal Respirator. These respirators, to be released in 2007, will consist of a revolutionary ultraviolet light decontamination chamber. This breakthrough system, developed by Next Safety will provide users further protection from pathogens including the avian influenza virus. An added bonus of this convergence of technology is that these respirators will be small enough to wear as a belt pack.

Next Safety’ s respirator platform is engineered to allow the administration of critical respiratory medications directly into the breathing zone of a sealed mask, enhancing the safety and discharge of pulmonary medical protocols into a purified air environment. This progressive system will allow the introduction of precise doses of pharmaceuticals and medicines, ensuring a high degree of control in dispensing pulmonary medicines over a short or long period of time. 

Tom Stern, MD, pulmonologist and clinical professor of medicine-Department of Internal Medicine at Carolina Medical Center, says there is need for a high quality, comfortable respirator that would prevent exposure to and the inhalation of dangerous environmental pollutants and pathogens. He stated, “Next Safety’s respirator meets these critical needs, as it removes pathogens, bacteria, dust, pollen, and other common airborne substances from inspired air and, at the same time, is comfortable to wear.”