HOUSTON — With a record setting flu season and pollen everywhere, who wouldn't like a simple solution to staying healthy.
A new product is out called the Bioscarf. The question is, can it protect you from getting sick?
From airports to waiting rooms to malls, you have seen folks wearing those hospital style masks. They may be effective, but they also make you look like a hospital patient.
So what about a mask that doesn't look like one?
We brought a Bioscarf to Dr. David Corry, professor and chief of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Corry reviewed a study supplied by the company that shows the scarf filters out particles 0.1 micron sized or larger.
Corry says, “In a perfect set of conditions the Bioscarf will remove virtually any infectious organisms you can imagine.”
Those include the flu and cold. Pollens are also larger than 0.1 micron so the scarf would filter those out too. Allergies are not just an annoying irritation. In his lab, Dr. Corry pulls out a stack of Petri dishes filled with mold from actual patients’ lungs. He says these are people that might benefit from the Bioscarf.
That benefit is limited though. The mask test is done in perfect lab conditions.
Dr. Corry reminds us, “Actually efficiency in the real world totally depends on how well they (masks) fit around your face.”
Any air gaps around any mask or scarf would expose you to germs, pollutants or pollen inhaled through the breach. Still a filter of any kind helps.
Over at Hermann Park, 12-year-old Sofie Whittingham gave the scarf a try, saying “It's pretty breathable.”
It's also cute and costs $39.
Mom Ruth Mejil says, “Whether it did the job or not, we'd be able to use it.”
The bottom line? Dr. Corry says the scarf generally does what it's advertised to do, but regular store scarfs might as well. We simply don’t know because no one has tested those