Some hospitals continue to face a need to disinfect and reuse N95 face masks during the pandemic and a study from the University of Michigan shows that they can rely on moist heat or vaporized hydrogen peroxide to inactivate viruses—but these treatments may leave behind other pathogens that are important to consider.
The research is the first full-scale study on N95 mask disinfection and reuse that evaluates multiple viruses, bacteria, and fungi along with how well masks filter and fit after treatment. It provides comprehensive information about multiple N95 disinfection methods, including their cost-effectiveness and ability to treat hundreds of masks each day.
As the pandemic begins to subside, fewer hospitals are needing to reuse PPE, but the FDA still lists N95s as in limited supply.
The study identified that the two approaches that can deactivate 99.99% of virus particles on these masks are: moist heat at 50% to 75% relative humidity and 176- to 180 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes; and vaporized hydrogen peroxide obtained with a Bioquell Q10 whole room decontamination system. The moist heat specifications had not been previously identified.
Read more at Medical Xpress.