N95 masks, currently being widely used for prevention against the novel Coronavirus can be easily sanitised in home electric cookers.
A new way for sanitising N95 masks has surfaced! N95 masks, currently being widely used for prevention against the novel Coronavirus can be easily sanitised in home electric cookers. A report by PTI citing findings published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters said that masks can be effectively sanitised within 50 minutes in cookers and maintain their filtration and fit. As there are limited supplies of masks, the sanitisation would allow people to reuse the masks. To be sure, N95 masks are the standard masks recommended by health experts worldwide as they provide protection against airborne droplets and particles (means of COVID-19 transmission).
According to Thanh Nguyen, professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the US, cloth masks or surgical masks are also used as they keep droplets suspended in the air at bay but respirator mask like N95 gives protection by filtering out smaller particles that are likely to be the carrier of the Coronavirus. With the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, there has been a high demand and shortage in supply for all health care providers along with essential workers for proper protective gears. This, as per the report, has prompted to adopt creative ideas for sanitisation. While there are many ways to sterilise something, the majority of them will destroy the fit or the filtration of an N95 respirator, said Professor Vishal Verma from the University of Illinois.
While decontamination is necessary, maintaining the filtration efficacy along with the fit of the respirator to the face cannot be overlooked. In such cases, researchers have identified that the electric-cooker method for sterilising can be useful, especially in cases where there is no access to large-scale heat sanitisation equipment.
Further, the report highlighted that the masks in cookers should be heated dry, as in no water should be added. Also, the temperature of the cooker is expected to be maintained at 100 degrees Celsius for around 50 minutes. Those practising this method to sanitise masks are also advised to place a small towel to cover the bottom of the cooker which will prevent the respirator coming into direct contact with the heating surface. Multiple masks can also be fitted in the cooker at the same time, report added.