Press Release

Foss Manufacturing’s Fosshield(R) Protects NASA Crew’s Clothing and Linens from Destructive and Odor-Causing Bacteria During Mission to Prepare for Ex

By SpaceRef Editor
August 18, 2004
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Foss Manufacturing Company Inc., a proven leader in the research and innovation of specialty fibers and nonwoven fabrics, announced today that the Fosshield(R)-equipped clothing and linens used by NASA crewmembers on a recent undersea mission were highly successful in providing protection against the growth of destructive and odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew during the mission. The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 6 project allows participants to practice long-duration life in space and evaluate equipment for the International Space Station. Part of the study considered how to protect crewmembers from bacterial growth in their clothing and linens while on space missions in which laundry and bathing facilities like those at home are not available.

The NEEMO 6 crew practiced space habitation in an underwater facility known as Aquarius off the coast of Florida. During the ten-day mission, the crewmembers used clothing, towels and bedding produced with Fosshield(R), an all-natural antimicrobial technology derived from a silver-based compound that provides safer and more effective protection than alternative solutions. Silver is one of the oldest known antimicrobial agents and has been proven effective against more than 650 strains of destructive and odor-causing bacteria, yeast, fungi and mold. Foss’ patented process incorporates the silver-based agent into fibers in a manner that provides permanent, safe and effective protection. The materials used on Aquarius were produced in partnership with Domestic Fabrics, a manufacturer of circular and warp knitted fabrics, based in Kinston, North Carolina.

“We were very excited to have our Fosshield(R) technology present on such an important mission, and are proud of its effectiveness and that NASA was so pleased with its performance,” said Stephen Foss, Chairman and CEO of Foss Manufacturing. “Knowing that this all-natural antimicrobial technology can be as effective in space as we have found it to be on earth further broadens the already nearly limitless applications we envision for Fosshield(R).”

“We place great importance on the health, safety and comfort of the specialists who participate in NASA missions, and we are always working to maintain a healthy environment in our on-orbit facilities,” said Tara Ruttley, a NASA engineer who served as a mission specialist for NEEMO 6. “The closed-system Aquarius test capsule provided us with an ideal opportunity to evaluate the performance of the ‘silver ion’ fabric in a high fidelity space station situation.”

In order to determine the effectiveness of the antimicrobial technology, NEEMO 6 crewmembers also used non-antimicrobial clothing and linens during the mission and the microbial levels of both these and the Fosshield(R)-equipped fabrics were examined at mission’s end. In every test, a significantly lower incidence of microbial growth in the Fosshield(R) fabrics was documented, and the materials remained noticeably fresher and more comfortable throughout the mission.

Other Fosshield(R) applications that are being developed, patented and marketed include mattress components, pillows, hospital scrubs, wound care products, air and water filters, automotive upholstery, wall coverings, athletic and intimate apparel, shoe insoles and cleaning supplies. Additionally, new Fosshield(R) research has shown the potential to eliminate the food source for dust mites.

About Fosshield(R) Antimicrobial Technologies:

Fosshield(R) Antimicrobial Technology is the brand name for a suite of products from Foss Manufacturing and its partners. Products incorporating Fosshield(R) Antimicrobial Technology safely and effectively guard against the growth of odor causing and destructive bacteria. Foss produces the only all-natural antimicrobial technology derived from silver and is working with its partners to develop products with Fosshield(R) Antimicrobial Technology for the decorative, automotive, footwear, technical and retail industries. For more information, please visit Foss’ Web site at

About Foss Manufacturing:

Established in 1954 and headquartered in Hampton, NH, Foss Manufacturing Company is a proven leader in the research and innovation of specialty synthetic fibers and nonwoven fabrics. With facilities all over the world, Foss is a major supplier to the Automotive, Technical, Decorative, and Retail industries in the U.S. and abroad.

For more information on partnerships with Foss, please contact Robert Sawvell, Director of Fiber Sales at 603-674-8440 or Al Bobst, Director of Technical Sales at 603-929-6092.

About Domestic Fabrics:

Established in 1955 and headquartered in Kinston, NC, Domestic Fabrics Corporation manufactures circular and warp knitted fabrics for industrial, medical, apparel and defense applications. Domestic has recently expanded into the area of healthcare supply with sales of an assortment of hospital bedding and related textiles under the trade names Health-Mesh(R) and Wick A’Way(R).

For more information on Domestic Fabrics, please contact Bill Hunneke at 252-527-0042.

About the NEEMO 6 mission: or

SpaceRef staff editor.