World • 08 June, 2020

Japanese companies developing cool face masks for summer

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Several companies in different fields are hurrying to develop cool and dry face masks to help people in the upcoming sweltering summer heat in Japan as they continue to wear masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, Japan Today says.

Demand for masks suitable for summer use is increasing in Japan and other parts of the world, with medical experts warning against risks such as breathing difficulties and dehydration when people wear masks in the hot and humid season.

Companies from different industries that have never produced masks before are coming up with solutions, with their own expertise ranging from high-tech cool materials to interesting ideas like putting refrigerant packs inside masks.

Mizuno Corp in late May started sales of face masks made with a soft stretch tricot material that is used for its swimsuits and wear for track and field athletics.

By using the material, the repeatedly washable mask can fit the face with less stress and help prevent splash infections, the sportswear maker said.

The product -- which costs 935 yen including tax -- gained strong popularity, with 20,000 pieces sold on its first online sales day.

Yonex Co, a maker of equipment for badminton, tennis and other sports, will sell masks made with its "Very Cool" material containing xylitol from early July.

Xylitol absorbs heat, responding to sweat, and the material is used for Yonex's wear for the Japan badminton national team, as well as professional tennis players.

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