Scientists say domestic electric cookers can clean N95 masks efficiently

Scientists say domestic electric cookers can clean N95 masks efficiently

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Washington: Fifty minutes of dry heat, such as a rice cooker or instant pot in an electric cooker, can effectively clean N95 respirator masks, while maintaining their filtration and fit, researchers, one of whom is of Indian origin. .
According to the findings published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, it could enable wearers to safely reuse a limited supply of MPs, which are basically one-time items.
N95 respirator masks are the gold standard of personal protective equipment that protect the wearer against airborne droplets and particles, such as the coronovirus that causes Kovid-19.
“A cloth mask or surgical mask protects others from droplets that the wearer may expel, but a respirator mask protects the wearer by filtering out small particles that can carry the virus,” Professor Urbana-Champagne of the University of Illinois Than Nguyen said in America.
The high demand during the Kovid-19 epidemic has caused severe shortages for health care providers and other essential workers, prompting a search for creative approaches to sanitization.
Professor Vishal Verma of the University of Illinois said, “There are many different ways of sterilizing something, but most of them will destroy filtration or an N95 respirator.”
Verma said, “Any hygiene method will need to destroy all the surfaces of the respirator, but it is as important as the filtration efficacy and maintaining the fit of the respirator’s face. Otherwise, it will not provide the right protection, “Varma said.
Researchers see the electric-cooker method as likely to be useful to health care workers and first responders, particularly in small clinics or hospitals that do not have access to large-scale heat impregnation equipment.
It can be useful for people who may have an N95 respirator at home – for example, from a pre-pandemic home-improvement project – and desire to reuse it, he said.
Researchers hypothesized that dry heat could be a method for meeting all three criteria – refinement, filtration, and fit – without requiring special preparation or any chemical residue.
They also wanted to find a method that was widely accessible to people at home.
The team decided to test the electric cooker, a type of device that many people own.
He verified that a cooking cycle, which maintains the contents of the cooker at about 100 ° C for 50 minutes, ejects the masks in and out of four different classes of viruses, including a coronovirus – and from ultraviolet. Does so more effectively. Light.
“I have built a chamber in my aerosol-testing laboratory specifically to look for filtration of N95 respirators and the particles that pass through it,” said Verma.
“The MPs maintained their filtration capacity over 95 percent and kept their fit, still sitting properly on the wearer’s face, even after 20 cycles of refinement in the electric cooker,” he said.
The researchers noted that the heat must be dry – no water should be added to the cooker, the temperature should be maintained at 100 ° C for 50 minutes and a small towel should cover the bottom of the cooker Any part of the respirator can be placed. Coming into direct contact with the heating element.
However, many masks can be stacked to fit inside the cooker, Nguyen said.


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