Sri Lanka activated carbon maker eyes Asian face mask market

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe arrives with flowers to receive blessings at the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, Colombo, Sri Lanka on Wednesday 4 April 2018. On wednesday (4), Wickremesinghe survived a no-confidence motion in the Sri Lankan parliament with a 46 vote majority after a 12-hour debate with 122 MPs voted in his support while 76 MPs voting to remove the prime minister. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Feb 28, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan coconut-shell-based activated carbon maker Haycarb says it plans to sell face masks in overseas markets in Asia with dense populations and growing air pollution problems. Haycarb managing director Ananda Hettiarachchy said the masks, developed for use by Sri Lankan urban and rural consumers, had become “quite popular” and that the company had spent the last year modifying the product based on customer feedback.

“We’ve been sorting out all the problems during the past year, improving the comfort level and aesthetic characteristics,” he said in an interview.

“We’re now looking at selling it not only in Sri Lanka but in the region as well. Because in the south east Asian region there are lots of motorcyclists and pedestrians in countries like Thailand, India, Vietnam, China and Indonesia for whom it would be useful.”

Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation along with a growing vehicle population has led to an increase in air pollution in these countries.

Activated carbon made by Haycarb, a subsidiary of the Hayleys conglomerate, is used in gas masks, to purify water as well as in other industries like gold extraction.

The masks protect users agains