Local business offers Olympians a layer of protection against Zika

Anovotek has developed a unique way to keep mosquitoes away by applying micro-capsules filled with insect repellent to clothing.
Anovotek has developed a unique way to keep mosquitoes away by applying micro-capsules filled with insect repellent to clothing.

BARNWELL, S.C. (WJBF)- Anovotek  has developed a unique way to keep mosquitoes away by applying micro-capsules filled with insect repellent to clothing.

“They’re so small you can’t feel them. You can’t see them, but when you move, just with normal movement, it ruptures capsules and it releases the repellent,” said Don Alexander, president and owner of Aanovotek.

The U.S. Olympic water polo team and six members of the Olympic swim team are using this Skintex MR III technology as armor against mosquitoes that put them at risk of contracting Zika.

“The Skintex MR III chemistry, we can apply that directly to garments using a process that we invented here [at Anovotek],” Alexander said.

As per EPA regulations, it effectively repels insects through 25 laundries.

“It’ll last pretty much the useful life on the garment,” he said.

It can be applied to most pieces of clothing, including those made of  cotton, polyester and nylons. Treated clothing dosen’t look or smell different than it did before treatment, but the texture does become slightly softer post-treatment.

Anovotek developed this world-class technology from the heart of Barnwell, S.C. The family-owned textile-development company operates out of their store on Main Street.

“We love the community and love the people, and we like operating in a small community,” Alexander said.

How did they do it? Good old-fashioned hard work.

“We’ve been developing the capability of doing that over the last ten years actually,” he said.

Anovotek perfected the process just as concerns about ZIka have spiked, and Olympians are packing their bags with treated garments as another layer of protection against insects.

“I think it will give them peace of mind that they can kind of concentrate on doing their best in the sport they’ve prepared, some of them a lifetime, to compete there,” Alexander said.

Insect-repellent athleticwear treated by Anovotek can be purchased here.

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