How to Sanitize? Reuse Mask During COVID-19? Today We are going to discuss it. The shortage of masks is going to be up and up. Therefore it is very important to reuse the available masks as much as possible.
Sanitize Reuse Mask During COVID-19
There are two basic mass types commonly in a clinical setting. Surgical masks are more loose-fitting and generally provide good protection against larger droplets dispersed through coughs and sneezes.
In contrast, N95 respirators are a tight seal around the nose and mouth. It protects better against small aerosolized or airborne particles. it is therefore considered the best type of protection against SARS-CoV-2.
Guidelines for Sanitize Reuse Mask During COVID-19
Many regulatory bodies have guidelines for how to address a shortage of appropriate masks. During a global pandemic, The medical staff is using masks again and again. It falls under extended use. It is important to use masks more than onetime. Many institutions around the world are already requiring their staff to reuse their masks.
Risks to Reuse Masks during COVID-19
But, what are the risks of reuse? According to the CDC, the most significant risk of reuse and extended use is contact transmission. The person might touch the surface of a contaminated respirator then infect themselves by touching their face. One study found that nurses touched their face, eyes, or N95 respirator. An average of 25 times per shift during extended use.
Which could also be transmitted through direct or indirect contact. To reduce the risk of contact transmission the CDC recommends. Using a cleanable face shield over an N95 respirator to avoid contamination. That respirator is discarded if they’re obviously contaminated, or damaged, or are hard to breathe through.
It is also vital that those who wear these masks wash their hands thoroughly before and after touching the respirator. Now it is clear that how to Sanitize Reuse Mask During COVID-19.
We see even seeing videos like this one pop up with interesting hacks for avoiding contamination when donning and doffing a mask. But even with these precautions, it’s still unclear. that the masks are safe or not after sanitize. Since they are in short supply, is there a way to safely wash or decontaminate these masks between uses in order to extend the life of the available supply? Today we learn scientifically that How to Sanitize? Reuse Mask During COVID-19?
How to Decontaminate Reuse Mask before Reuse?
Any decontamination process must not compromise. The proper fit of the mask while maintaining the mask’s ability to filter out small particles like the virus. In 2009, A team at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Whose name NIOSH, showed that a single treatment with hydrogen peroxide vapor, UV irradiation or dry heat below 100 degrees celsius, did not affect the ability of N95 masks to filter small particles.
Sanitize N95 Mask
A group at Duke University recently released a procedure for sterilizing N95 masks using hydrogen peroxide vapor. Although, they didn’t look at whether their treatment protocols were effective at decontaminating, nor whether they affected the proper fit of the mask. This study paved the way for several more recent investigations.
Their technique did not alter the fit of the mask, it left no residue other than water, and it provided valid decontamination. Although, they didn’t use coronavirus, but instead tested using other biological indicators. Using this technique, they were able to repurpose 500 masks in one roughly four-hour cycle. They also suggest that most masks could undergo this process at least 30 times without loss of fit.
How to Sanitize mask for reuse: Stanford University
A team of researchers at Stanford University also examined several methods for disinfecting N95 masks. They started by heating the masks in an oven. The rationale for this is relatively simple, several studies have shown that SARS-COVID-19 begins to degrade at approximately 65 degrees celsius.
They chose a temperature of 75 degrees celsius because of the wide availability of 75 degrees blanket warming ovens in hospitals. They found that heating at 75 degrees for 30 minutes did not compromise the function of the masks. Even when repeated for up to 20 cycles. This treatment was also sufficient to disinfect the masks. Although, they used E.coli as a surrogate for coronavirus in their study.
The team did not assess the effect on fit. While this is a relatively simple procedure, they caution that it should not be carried out in a home oven. They also tested UV light. Previous studies have suggested that repeated exposure to UV light can lead to the breakdown of the mass structures, but they found that 254 nanometers UV light for 30 minutes didn’t affect the filtering efficiency of the masks. Even after up to 10 cycles.
Which Disinfectant to Sanitize the Mask
However, the group cautioned that the limited penetration depth of UV light may affect the ability to disinfect particles deep inside the filter. More research is going on. Alcohol and chlorine-based disinfectants are effective. interfered with the electrostatic charge on the masks, which is an important component of the filter, and significantly reduced their function.
In addition, the masks retained bleach residue, which could prove harmful to the wearer. So while there are good options for sterilizing hard surfaces, they should not be used to clean N95 masks. One last option that has been suggested but not well studied is to essentially do nothing and leave the masks to dry for several days. This is based on the idea that viruses need moisture to remain viable.
We don’t know how long SARS-CoV-2 remains viable in fabric, but it lasts 24 hours on cardboard, which is the closest material studied so far. So leaving masks to dry for two to three days should conceivably be enough to render the virus no longer infectious. However, it’s important to remember that this process won’t necessarily remove other contaminants that could be present on the masks, and it would require that hospitals dedicate a relatively large, clean and uncontaminated space to the drying of masks.
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