Title:
Protective device against biting of arthropods
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A new protective device for use against biting of mosquitoes and other arthropods and in particular, a material which can be used in the manufacture of regular clothing or specialty clothing to protect an individual from bites from mosquitoes and other arthropods.



Inventors:
Volgyesi, George A. (Toronto, CA)
Application Number:
12/457460
Publication Date:
11/19/2009
Filing Date:
06/11/2009
Primary Class:
2/4
Other Classes:
2/85, 2/93
International Classes:
A42B3/00; A41D3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KINSAUL, ANNA KATHRYN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICHES, MCKENZIE & HERBERT, LLP (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Claims:
1. A method for preventing arthropods from biting a head of a person, said method comprising inserting said head of said person through an opening in a head covering comprising a reticulated foam and securing said head covering to said head of said person.

2. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein said reticulated foam has a density of holes from about 10 per linear inch to about 100 per linear inch.

3. A method as claimed in claim 2 wherein said reticulated foam has a density of holes from about 30 per linear inch to about 100 per linear inch.

4. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein said reticulated foam comprises a reticulated, flexible polyurethane foam characterized by a three dimensional skeletal structure of strands.

5. A method as claimed in claim 4 wherein said reticulated foam comprises a reticulated, flexible polyurethane foam characterized by a three dimensional skeletal structure of strands which provide a 97% void space.

6. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein said head covering includes a transparent shield releasably secured to allow said person to see therethrough.

7. A method for preventing arthropods from biting the body of a person, said method comprising inserting said body of said person through an opening in a jacket comprising a reticulated foam and securing said jacket to said body of said person.

8. A method as claimed in claim 7 wherein said reticulated foam has a density of holes from about 10 per linear inch to about 100 per linear inch.

9. A method as claimed in claim 8 wherein said reticulated foam has a density of holes from about 30 per linear inch to about 100 per linear inch.

10. A method as claimed in claim 12 wherein said reticulated foam comprises a reticulated, flexible polyurethane foam characterized by a three dimensional skeletal structure of strands.

11. A method as claimed in claim 10 wherein said reticulated foam comprises a reticulated, flexible polyurethane foam characterized by a three dimensional skeletal structure of strands which provide a 97% void space.

12. A method for preventing arthropods from biting the body of a person, said method comprising inserting said body of said person through an opening in a body covering comprising a reticulated foam and securing said body covering to said body of said person.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/070,671 filed Mar. 3, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a new protective device for use against biting of mosquitoes and other arthropods and in particular, a material which can be used in the manufacture of regular clothing or specialty clothing to protect an individual from bites from mosquitoes and other arthropods.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

One of the most serious concerns of today's society is the transfer of disease from mosquitoes and other arthropods to humans. For example, every twelve seconds a child dies from malaria. Almost half a billion people contract the disease annually. One of the most common ways of contracting the disease is when a human is bitten by a mosquito which carries the tiny blood-dwelling parasites that cause malaria.

Many efforts have been made to reduce the spread of malaria. For example, mosquito larvae thrive in stagnant swamp water so draining of swamps deprives malaria-carrying mosquitoes of their reproductive environment. While drainage schemes have led to the eradication of malaria from most of Western Europe and the United States, the disease remains a serious concern in parts of the Far and Middle East and in South America and Africa where ninety percent of the world's cases are found.

Malaria is such a large concern that it contributes significantly to economic malaise. The disease is transmitted by the bite of hungry female mosquitoes looking for blood to nourish their eggs.

A second disease which is carried by mosquitoes is the “West Nile” virus which inflames the brain. This disease has affected North America to a very large extent in the past few years and efforts have been taken to spray insecticides over large areas to try to reduce the mosquito population.

Lately, various products have been designed and are on sale to protect humans from the bite of arthropods such as mosquitoes to prevent the transmission of disease. Various articles of clothing have been designed which are manufactured of mesh material which keeps out the small bugs including no-see-ums, black flies, mosquitoes and ticks. One such product is available from Wisemen Trading and Supply of Athens, Ala. under the trade mark BUG OUT and is manufactured of a one hundred percent polyester chemically resistant material. Other protective clothing is made of tightly woven cloth material which is too dense for mosquitoes to bite through. The major drawback of this method is that it becomes hot and sweaty in hot weather and is therefore uncomfortable.

Various other attempts have been made to protect humans. Although vaccines or chemoprophylactic drugs are available against vector-borne diseases such as yellow fever and malaria, suggestions have been made for general protective measures against biting arthropods. While chemoprophylaxis is available for malaria, there are no similar preventive measures for such other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue. Suggestions have been made to modify patterns of activity or behaviour to avoid certain times of the day such as the twilight periods at dawn and dusk or in the evening when vector mosquitoes are most active. It is also suggested that long sleeved shirts, long pants and hats be worn to minimize areas of exposed skin.

Various repellents are also available such as permethrin-based products which enhance protection. These insecticides may be applied to clothing, shoes, beds, camping gear and the like.

A popular chemical found in many repellents contain N,N-diethylmetatoluamide (DEET) as the active ingredient. It has been found that DEET repels mosquitoes, ticks and other arthropods when applied to the skin or clothing, Various formulations are presently available on the market.

One concern is the safety of the use of DEET for children. The concentrations must be reduced when applying DEET formulations to children which provide only short term protection. Also, DEET is toxic when ingested and may cause skin irritation in persons.

Other chemical products are being tested and evaluated as adjuvants against several species of malaria causing plasmodium.

Significant disadvantages arise as a result of the use of chemical products, including, the fact that the chemicals must be repeatedly applied as a result of “wearing off” over time and as a result of human activity such as sweating, showering or swimming. Frequent application of chemical repellents is also expensive and may harm the environment.

It has been estimated that at least eighty percent of human infectious diseases are arthropod-borne and are transmitted by insects, mites or ticks. They have caused the death of hundreds of millions of people by infecting them with pathogens that cause typhus, bubonic plague, yellow fever, malaria, dengue fever, sleeping sickness, encephalitis, elephantiasis, Leishmaniasis and yaws. Of these, mosquitoes have been the worst of all the disease carriers. More than three thousand species of mosquitoes have been described in scientific journals and mosquitoes have been found in every country of the world.

From the viewpoint of the military, recent studies have shown that arthropods can obstruct movement and field positions, prevent concealment and cover and disrupt manoeuvres and cause panic. There is clearly a lost work time, treatment and hospitalisation costs are increasing substantially.

One of the problems encountered with respect to the netting which is currently available is that the netting all use a mesh which touches the skin of the individual. The problem is that when the arthropod lands on the mesh, it can bite through the mesh itself thereby transmitting the disease to the human notwithstanding that netting is applied to the body. Attempts to try to keep a safe distance between the netting and the skin by wide brimmed hats or hoops are impractical and often ineffective. There is also clearly a problem in retaining visibility through the netting. The alternative to netting is the use of tightly woven material which does not allow the skin to breathe or to dissipate perspiration and is therefore very uncomfortable to use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To at least partially overcome the disadvantages of the prior art, the present invention provides a novel protective device for use to assist in the prevention of the biting of arthropods.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a material from which articles of clothing may be made to assist in the prevention of biting of arthropods.

To this end, in one of its aspects, the invention provides a reticulated foam for use as a component of an article of clothing.

In another of its aspects, the invention provides a reticulated foam for use a component of an article of clothing to prevent an arthropod from biting through the article of clothing.

In yet another of its aspects, the invention provides a reticulated foam having a density of holes from about ten per linear inch to about one hundred per linear inch for use as a component as an article of clothing.

In a still further aspect of this invention, it provides a reticulated, flexible polyurethane foam characterized by a three dimensional skeletal structure of strands for use as a component of an article of clothing.

In a further aspect, the invention provides a material for use in the manufacture of clothing for the prevention of bites from arthropods which comprises a reticulated foam.

In yet another of its aspects, the invention provides a method for preventing arthropods from biting a head of a person, said method comprising inserting said head of said person through an opening in a head covering comprising a reticulated foam and securing said head covering to said head of said person.

In yet another of its aspects, the invention provides a method for preventing arthropods from biting the body of a person, said method comprising inserting said body of said person through an opening in a jacket comprising a reticulated foam and securing said jacket to said body of said person.

In still another of its aspects, the invention provides a method for preventing arthropods from biting the body of a person, said method comprising inserting said body of said person through an opening in a body covering comprising a reticulated foam and securing said body covering to said body of said person.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a head covering made of the reticulated foam of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a head covering incorporating the reticulated foam of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a front view of a pattern suitable for use in the manufacture of a head covering of the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows the use of a head covering of the present invention on the head of a person.

FIG. 5 shows the use of a head covering of the present invention on the head of a person in a second position.

FIG. 6 is a front view of a first frame member for securing the transparent shield of the reticulated foam.

FIG. 7 is a front view of a second frame member for securing the transparent shield of the reticulated foam.

FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the securing of the transparent shield to the reticulated foam.

FIG. 9 is a chart illustrating the resistance data of reticulated foam.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The protective device of the present application is made of a reticulated foam having a density of holes from about ten per linear inch to about one hundred per linear inch with the preferred range being from about ten per linear inch to thirty per linear inch.

The foam is preferably a reticulated, flexible polyurethane foam which is characterized by a three-dimensional skeletal structure of strands which provide a ninety-seven percent void space. As indicated before, the controlled pore sizes run from a density of about ten per linear inch to about one hundred per linear inch which therefore guarantees uniformity and predictability. This material can be shaped and coloured to meet a broad range of requirements and generally flexible, resilient and lightweight.

These materials exhibit controlled permeability and predictable surface area of the skeletal structure which is a direct function of the totally open pore cell size. Confirmation to contact surface and shape retention is due to the resilient nature of the polyurethane foam which exhibits excellent holding capacity and low flow resistance as a result of the foam's high void volume.

The material is quite breathable and wicks perspiration away very quickly. There is no odour and the material exhibits low resistance to airflow. It is totally washable and susceptible to additional materials such as carbon to improve heat conductability of the material itself.

The particular advantage of using the reticulated foam is that it provides a spacing between the arthropod which many land on the device and the skin of the human. The arthropod when landing on the device cannot penetrate to the skin of the wearer of the device and thus the wearer is protected from bites from the arthropod.

The reticulated foam may be incorporated into any type of article of clothing. These may include head coverings, jackets, pants, socks, mitts, overalls and the like. The present invention relates to the use of the reticulated foam as a component of an article of clothing which can be used to cover all or a part of the body.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is representation of a head covering incorporating the invention of the present application. The head covering generally indicated as 2 is made of reticulated foam material and is shaped to fit over the head of the user. The head covering is placed over the head and the head is pushed through opening 4 so that the eyes of the user fit within the opening 6. A transparent shield 8 covers the eyes of the user.

An alternative version is shown in FIG. 2 wherein a flap 10 is moveable to close the opening 6 if desired.

The shield 8 may be secured to the head covering 2 in a variety of manners. For example, the shield 8 may be glued directly to the head covering 2.

A preferred method of securing the shield 8 in place is shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8. FIG. 6 shows a first frame 40 which is shaped in a conventional shape of sufficient size to cover the eyes of the user. Frame 40 carries on a first surface 42, a series of spaced apart female members 44 and a series of male members 46.

As shown in FIG. 7, a complementary second frame 50 is provided which carries on a first surface 52, a series of spaced apart female members 54 and a series of male members 56.

Frames 40 and 50 are identical in size. When frame 40 is placed over frame 50, the male members 46 correspond exactly to the female members 54 and the male members 56 correspond exactly to the female members 44.

In a preferred method of construction, frames 40, 50 are identical and one is turned around to face the other so that the respective male and female members mate with each other. In this embodiment, FIG. 6 represents a front view of frame 40 and FIG. 7 represents the rear view of the same frame.

In this embodiment, the opening 6 is cut out of the reticulated foam 2. Frame 40 is placed on the inside of the foam 2 such that the foam covers the frame 40. Frame 50 is placed on the outside of the foam 2, the transparent shield 8 is placed therebetween and the two frames 40, 50 are releasably secured together thereby sandwiching the foam 2 and the transparent shield 8 therebetween.

FIG. 8 shows an exploded view of this embodiment. Frame 40 which carries female members 44 and male members 42 is placed on one side of the foam 2. Frame 50 which carries female members 54 and male members 52 is placed on the other side of the foam 2. The two frames 40, 50 are pushed together thereby releasably securing together the female members 44 and the male members 56 and the male members 46 and the female members 54. The two frames 40, 50 may be separated by forcing them in the opposite direction thereby releasing the foam 2 and the transparent shield 8 to allow for replacement or cleaning of the transparent shield 8.

The advantage of this embodiment is that it allows for quick and easy replacement of the transparent shield 8. The transparent shield 8 may be made transparent or be made of a material such as to prevent ultraviolet radiation from damaging the eyes. The shield 8 may also be polarized or coloured to suit the desires of the user. This embodiment allows to quick and easy replacement of the shield or for cleaning of the shield from time to time.

Clothing may be manufactured of the reticulated foam itself. Alternatively, the reticulated foam can be worn on top of the clothing or under the clothing if desired.

The foam has good flexibility and can therefore be compressed into a pouch for easy carrying. Accordingly, it finds particular application for the armed forces and also for sports events, cyclists, hikers, cottagers and the like. The material is breathable thus preventing heat buildup. It also wicks perspiration away very quickly. The material has little or no odour and has a low resistance to airflow and is totally washable.

If desired, additional material may be incorporated into the reticulated foam. For example, carbon may be incorporated into the reticulated foam to improve the heat conductability. Colouring may also be used for aesthetic purposes.

FIG. 9 is a chart illustrating the resistance data of reticulated foam. Four air velocities were selected, namely, 200 fpm; 400 fpm; 600 fpm; and 800 fpm. A sample size of 10 inches in diameter and 1.000 inches thick plus or minus 0.15 was used. The pressure drop in inches was plotted against the number of pores per inch in the sample size. The results are shown on FIG. 9.

Experiment 1

Referring to FIG. 3, a pattern 22 was first made of a simple sheet of one-quarter inch thick reticulated foam having thirty holes per inch. A clear view visor 24 made of thin Lexan (trade mark) was attached to the foam using a silicone glue to cover the opening 26. The helmet was then sewn along a single seam 28 to produce the helmet as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.

FIG. 4 shows the helmet 30 with flaps 32, 34 outside of the shirt of the wearer 36. FIG. 5 shows the helmet 30 with flaps 32, 34 tucked inside the shirt of the wearer 36. The wearer 36 then places the helmet 30 over his head and tucks the flaps 32, 34 inside of his shirt as shown in FIG. 5. After a recent rainstorm, the wearer walked through a mosquito infested forest for two hours. Following the two hour walk, the wearer removed the helmet 30 for inspection and then inspected his body for mosquito bites.

It was found that the wearer suffered numerous mosquito bites to all areas of his body which were covered with normal clothing but not a single bite was located on the head or on the face of the wearer.

The wearer also reported no problem with respect to ease of breathing, comfort, hearing or visibility. The experiment was repeated with the wearer wearing eyeglasses and there was no discomfort felt by the wearer when the wearer wore eyeglasses.

Although it is acknowledged that this field test was arbitrary, it was clear that the results showed that the mosquitoes could not bite through the helmet made of the reticulated foam of the present invention and this helmet allowed the wearer to walk through mosquito-infested areas without being bitten.

While the invention has been described with respect to the preferred embodiments, many modifications and variations will now occur to persons skilled in the art. For a definition of the invention, reference is made to the appended claims.