Decontamination of Surgical Face Masks and N95 Respirators by Dry Heat Pasteurization for One Hour at 70°C.
Am J Infect Control. 2020 May 29;:
Authors: Xiang Y, Song Q, Gu W
BACKGROUND: The need for protective masks greatly exceeds their global supply during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
METHODS: We optimized the temperature used in the dry heat pasteurization method to destroy pathogens and decontaminate masks while retaining their filtering capacity.
RESULTS: The current study showed that dry heat at both 60°C and 70°C for one hour could successfully kill six species of respiratory bacteria and one fungi species, and inactivate the H1N1 indicator virus. After being heated at 70°C for 1 h, 2 h, and 3 h, the N95 respirators and surgical face masks showed no changes in their shape and components. The filtering efficiency of bacterial aerosol for N95 respirators were 98%, 98%, and 97% after being heated for 1 h, 2 h, and 3 h, respectively, all of which were over the 95% efficiency required and similar to the value before being heated (99%). The filtering efficiency for surgical face masks was 97%, 97%, and 96% for 1 h, 2 h, and 3 h of heating, respectively, all of which were also similar to the value before being heated (97%).
CONCLUSIONS: This method can be used at home and can resolve the current shortage of masks.
PMID: 32479844 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]