Can I use ultraviolet lamp disinfection N95 protective mask?

by mengxiao on April 09, 2020
uv light devices

Because of the COVID-19, masks are now expensive and hard to get. But masks are a great help in preventing the spread of the virus and are now a necessity. So can we disinfect N95 masks with ultraviolet lamps?

The answer is: YES

A study was done by the national center for biotechnology information.

It basically states that you can disinfect a disposable N95 mask of viruses with a proper UV-C bulb.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4699414/

"The capacity to disinfect and reuse disposable N95 respirators may be needed during a pandemic of an infectious disease that spreads by airborne particles. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation is one possible method for accomplishing this. In our experiments, UVGI had a small effect on filtration performance and essentially no effect on flow resistance at doses up to 950 J/cm2, while the structural integrity of the respirators showed a noticeable decrease at lower doses. The strength of the respirator straps was less affected by UVGI than the strength of the body material. Our results suggest that UVGI could be used to disinfect respirators, although the maximum number of disinfection cycles will be limited by the respirator model and the UVGI dose required to inactivate the pathogen."

So basically buy a UV-C bulb-like one at the link below. Put the mask in an enclosed box with the bulb and let the bulb disinfect it for 10-15min.

SIMIG UV Germicidal Lamp UVC with Ozone Light  Cleans Air https://shop.simiglighting.com/product/36w-uv-anti-virus-lamp/

As a warning the bulb in the link creates OZONE, this is a gas and isn't something you want to breathe, it is bad for your lungs, so use the bulb in an enclosed space to disinfect the mask... then air it out after (making sure not to breathe the ozone air). It's not "toxic" but it's not good to be breathing in concentrated quantities.

In short, in the current shortage of this mask, the use of ultraviolet lamp disinfection N95 mask is ok, but also can not be repeated too many times, the mask is easy to break. Pp plastic inhalation does not seem to be a big problem, as far as I know, there is no conclusive evidence that pp plastic inhalation is harmful to human health.

related articles: The best choice for N95 mask disinfection: UV Sanitizer Lamp Can I use ultraviolet lamp disinfection N95 protective mask? How to choose the right UV sanitizer lamp? UV Disinfection Lamp banner
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