WASHINGTON — Recently, a story from Indianapolis Monthly got a lot of attention online, highlighting a fabric that can kill coronaviruses.
Our Verify team combed through the above sources to see if there actually is a fabric that can kill coronaviruses.
First, let's remember the CDC’s guideline on masks and their recommended use in community settings. But what about repeated use of masks and the risk of exposure from contamination on the physical object?
Well, Dr. Chanden Sen and other researchers developed a special fabric while working at The Ohio State University in 2017 to try and solve that problem. The fabric uses weak electric fields to kill bacteria.
"Yet, when it comes in contact with any equal solution that has ions in it, that fabric itself generates electricity, and this electricity is enough to block the ability of the virus to infect," Sen said.
Sen’s research was released on ChemRxiv last month -- a website where studies can be read before formal peer review and publication. So nothing about this is conclusive, yet.
But, the goal is to get approval through the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization Program to use the fabric specifically for face masks to be used against COVID-19.
According to the FDA, an EUA can be issued to provide more timely access to drugs, diagnostic tests, or other critical medical products that may help during certain emergencies when there are no other adequate approved and available options.
Ultimately, we can verify: Yes, there is a fabric with properties that can kill the coronavirus. However, it’s still early in the research and it needs to be peer-reviewed.
It would also be a little while before this becomes available on a wide-scale for health care professionals and others to use.