Electric cooker an easy, efficient way to sanitize N95 masks
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Owners of electric multicookers may be able to add another use to its list of functions, a new study suggests: sanitization of N95 respirator masks.

A new study found that 50 minutes of dry heat in an electric cooker, such as a rice cooker or Instant Pot, decontaminated N95 respirators inside and out while maintaining their filtration and fit. This could enable wearers to safely reuse limited supplies of the respirators, originally intended to be one-time-use items. The researchers published their findings in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

The researchers hypothesized that dry heat might be a method to meet all three criteria—decontamination, filtration and fit—without requiring special preparation or leaving any chemical residue. They also wanted to find a method that would be widely accessible for people at home. They decided to test an electric cooker, a type of device many people have in their pantries.

They verified that one cooking cycle, which maintains the contents of the cooker at around 100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit for 50 minutes, decontaminated the masks, inside and out, from four different classes of virus, including a coronavirus—and did so more effectively than ultraviolet light. Then, they tested the filtration and fit.

"We built a chamber in my aerosol-testing lab specifically to look at the filtration of the N95 respirators, and measured particles going through it," researchers said. "The respirators maintained their filtration capacity of more than 95% and kept their fit, still properly seated on the wearer's face, even after 20 cycles of decontamination in the electric cooker."

The researchers see potential for the electric-cooker method to be useful for health care workers and first responders, especially those in smaller clinics or hospitals that do not have access to large-scale heat sanitization equipment. In addition, it may be useful for others who may have an N95 respirator at home—for example, from a pre-pandemic home-improvement project—and wish to reuse it.

Source: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.estlett.0c00534
Dr. T●●●●z H●●●●●●i and 19 others like this26 shares
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Dr. MD H●●●●N
Dr. MD H●●●●N Orthopaedics
Even pressure cooker can be used in this respect
Aug 9, 2020Like1