Skintex MR III In The News
SC chemical company fights Zika virus globally
A South Carolina chemical company is ready to fight the Zika virus with its life-saving technology. Pulcra Chemicals of Rock Hill developed a repellent to protect against mosquitoes carrying the virus.
Skintex MRIII can be applied to clothing, blankets, and camping gear, making them resistant to mosquitoes. Just one small barrel of the product can treat 2.5 tons of blankets.
“We expected this and started working on it in the last year as we’ve seen the Zika virus spread further and further north,” said Brian Francois, the company’s CEO.
So far, all Zika cases in the Carolinas are travel related, but residents still worry. Pulcra recently treated clothing and blankets for the U.S. Olympic team in Brazil.
The company is also waiting to hear back from Florida’s Mosquito Control Board to find out if it will be sending supplies to Miami. According to Pulcra, the main defense in many countries is a mosquito net. This product would help these countries effectively fight the Zika virus as well as malaria. Pulcra recently donated more than a thousand treated blankets to Tanzania to prevent malaria from spreading. “This is a better, better option for a lot of protecting children, protecting pregnant women and mothers,” Francois said.
CN2 News – Skintex MRIII Blanket
Zika Blankets Made in Greensboro
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s monitoring 320 pregnant women in the United States with the Zika Virus. Zika is known to cause severe birth defects. Abnormally formed brains can be detected even before birth, but other more subtle defects might not be known for years. All 320 cases involve people who traveled outside of the U-S.
Hard to imagine a blanket could solve the Zika problem. A blanket made with a chemical that repels, even kills, mosquitoes. The blankets are made here locally and will be used to keep our Olympic athletes safe in Rio. “There’s a fear factor there,” said Dave Pearce, Business Development at Skintex MR III. “They’re aware of it and they’re looking for what can we do about it?”
A local company found the answer. A blanket that creates a barrier against mosquitoes. “It’ll knock the insect down and/or knock it dead,” said Pearce. Skintex is providing the blankets to all 1,100 Team USA athletes. “You’ll see Olympians with this blanket, the white blanket with the blue and red salvage on it,” said Pearce. The blankets fight off and kill mosquitoes.
“The chemicals that are infused in it are a preventative blanket for mosquitoes to bite you, and all other insects actually,” said David Marsh, USA Head Women’s Olympic Swimming Coach. “So expect to see this kind of stuff around them the whole meet.” A little relief for athletes who can’t afford to break focus. “We’re trying to give them a little sense of comfort,” said Pearce. “Here’s the tools we have and here’s what we can do with this tool.”
The blankets are partially manufactured in Greensboro. Inventors say it’s a surreal feeling for the fairly new company. “I think everybody will be very pleased to know that the hard work of the last 10 plus years, there it is, walking into the stadium,” said Pearce.
WBTV Charlotte – Zika in York County
The 18th reported case of the Zika virus in South Carolina is in York County. Officials said the person got the virus while traveling, but they are taking steps to prevent the disease from spreading as a precaution. Repellants are what we normally wear to prevent getting bit, but a blanket made in the Carolinas is now another option.
For years, a Rock Hill company has been infusing fabric with a repellant that helps people around the world kill mosquitoes. They are donating blankets to Olympic athletes headed to Rio, Brazil. They are also about to start selling them to consumers.
When the U.S. swim team races in Rio, they will be on the sidelines with the light-weight white blankets. “You don’t necessarily have to cover up with it,” said Troy Massey, “You can lay on it, different things, and it’s still going to offer some protection.”
Troy Massey is the Skintex Business Manager. He works for Pulcra Chemical in Rock Hill, who infuses the blanket with the repellant Skintex MRIII. “When the athletes get down there we want them to focus on the games, not worry about Zika the whole time,” Massey said.
For the last nine years, Pulcra Chemical has been selling the blankets to non-profits who travel to places like Africa. “This is the basic humanitarian-type blanket,” Massey said while holding a light green blanket. “It’s like putting your hand on a hot burner on the stove top. [The mosquito] will sense something is wrong and it will fly away. If it does indeed stay on the fabric and try to bite, in most cases it will die,” Massey said.
Massey said for years they never sold directly to consumers, but the blankets are about to be one more tool people in the United States can use to stop the spread of the virus. “I think it’s just a matter of time before there are mosquitoes in the U.S. spreading the disease,” Massey said.