Can N95 respirators be cleaned with Lysol?

The Coronavirus pandemic has seized the whole world and has caused a lot of destruction in every sector but the economy has especially been affected by it. Coronavirus took off from Wuhan, China, and reached the entire world like fire in the jungle. Coronavirus has caused a red alert in many countries including China, Italy, Spain, and America.

Officials recommended the public to wear masks and stay distant, avoid handshakes and hugs. This pandemic spreads through the air and can easily be transferred from one to the other. Doctors advised the public to stay and home and avoid going outside if not necessary. Governments also enforced complete lockdown but it resulted in a fuss in many countries.

The most effective PPE in this cause is the N95 respirator. It can protect one from 95% airborne particles and is tested against COVID-19. N95 respirators by 3M and NIOSH are the most trusted respirators. People from all over the world were demanding N95 respirators and it caused a lot of burden on the Government as well as the companies. 

FDA indicated that soon 3M and NIOSH will run out of their stocks and the world will be left with zero N95 respirators. In this situation, Chinese companies came forward and launched their N95 respirator known as KN95. FDA had no choice but to approve it but people were scared to use Chinese KN95 respirators as they were not familiar with it.

The President of the United States of America:

President of America Mr. Donald Trump gave the idea of reusing N95 respirators which caused panic some were stating N95 respirators cannot be reused while some were in favor of it. The President recommended the public to stop purchasing N95 respirators and leave it for the medical staff as they are the frontline soldiers in this war.

Tests were held and at the last many officials stated that it can be sterilized with Alcohol. The question that arose was can Lysol disinfect N95 respirators.

Lysol as a disinfectant:

Lysol is a commonly used disinfectant in the United States. Lysol is used in many antiviral surface cleaners and soap. Lysol is also used in many perfumes. Lysol has a huge fan following so the first question that people were asking was can N95 respirators be cleaned with Lysol?

Lysol is a well-known disinfectant and can sterilize almost everything but when it comes to the sanitization of something as important as PPEs doctors and paramedical staff are a bit too concerned as they care about their as well as others lives.

Many doctors stated that Lysol can be used to sterilize N95 respirators while others argued. The decision made at the end was that Lysol cannot be used to disinfect N95 respirators as it ruins a big part of the protection provided by N95 respirators.

N95 respirators can be cleaned in many ways. People have pondered over it and have decided it on experimental grounds that people can clean N95 respirators.

How to disinfect N95 respirators?

In the current pandemic, people from all over the world are looking for a way to reuse their N95 respirators because there is a shortage of N95 respirators all over the world and people are not so sure about discarding a valuable mask after a single-use. 

3M has issued a white paper in which it indicates that N95 can only be sterilized on four conditions. The process should not affect the N95 respirator's filter. The process should not affect its perfect fit and most importantly the N95 respirator's layers should not be damaged. If any method meets the following requirements one can disinfect their N95 respirators.

People are worried and they want to be safe so they worked on ways to disinfect the N95 respirators and were finally successful. There are four ways through which N95 respirators can be disinfectant and be good as new.

Heat:

If N95 respirators are exposed to dry heat at 70°C for about sixty minutes it can sterilize a contaminated N95 respirator and the processed N95 respirator can be used. In this way, many people were able to reuse their N95 respirators. Many Doctors also indicated the use of dry heat to disinfect as an N95 respirator as an achievement.

Ultra Violet Radiations:

Many experimented with the process of cleaning a contaminated N95 respirator by using Ultra Violet radiation and the results were satisfactory. If N95 respirators are imperiled to ultraviolet radiations (260 – 285 nm ) for sixty minutes it can sanitize a used N95 respirator and the N95 respirator afterward can be reused for a couple of more times. 

Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide:

VHP or vaporized hydrogen peroxide was tested to disinfect the N95 respirator within the shortest period of about 10 minutes. It is the most effective way of decontaminating N95 respirators and many people have recommended this method. This method can be used three times on a single N95 respirator.

Alcohol (Ethanol):

Alcohol (Ethanol) can also disinfect N95 respirators if N95 respirators are exposed to 75% ethanol. Experts do not recommend this method as it can ruin masks. So people try to avoid this method of decontamination of N95 respirators.

These are the four methods that can be used to sterilize an N95 respirator. Usage of Hydrogen Peroxide and dry heat are effective for three to four times and can be used frequently.

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