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Here's the best and worst ways to disinfect N95 coronavirus masks

If you want to disinfect your N95 face mask, here's the best and the worst ways you can do it.

Published Wed, May 6 2020 3:34 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:43 AM CST

Before getting into the best and worst ways to disinfect N95 masks, it should be noted that these medical-grade masks should be reserved for healthcare workers only as there is a global shortage at the moment.

Here's the best and worst ways to disinfect N95 coronavirus masks 06 | TweakTown.com

If you are a normal citizen and aren't working on the front battling the coronavirus, there is absolutely no reason for you to own an N95. For every N95 mask that is owned by someone who doesn't need it, someone in healthcare that actually needs it doesn't have one. N95 masks contain a layer "meltblown" polypropylene fibers that form a porous, breathable network. These fibers are electrostatically charged to help stop particles from slipping through the gaps.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended ways of disinfecting these masks after prolonged use. Some of the ways the CDC recommends are heating, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and bleach treatment. A team of scientists decided to put these disinfectant methods to the test to see which one was the best course of action. Yi Cui and colleagues took pieces of meltblown fabric that's used to make the masks and sprayed it with ethanol or chlorine bleach solution. What they found was that it reduced the filtration efficiency of the fabric from 95% to only 56% (ethanol) and 73% (bleach).

The team also took steam cleaned the fabric and found that after just five steam cleans, the filtration efficiency had a sharp decline. UV radiation cleaning was also tested, and the team found that the fabric could be disinfected 20 times. Ultimately, the team found the best way possible to disinfect N95 face masks, and that is - heating. Cooking the fabric at 185 F for 20 minutes can disinfect the mask 50 times before there is a loss in filtration efficiency.

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NEWS SOURCE:sciencedaily.com

Jak's love for technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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