N95 masks and N95 respirators are considered as the best protection that individuals can get against the virus. Before, the N95 masks and N95 respirators have been used for hazardous work environments and medical facilities that can get their workers exposed to specific harm. In today’s pandemic ridden world, the main focus now of individuals is to make sure that they will get the best experience out of N95 masks and N95 respirators and have that peace of mind that they are protecting themselves properly.
In this article, we will discuss one of the most important aspects of the N95 masks and N95 respirators: the decontamination methods. While a lot of the population would rather not reuse the N95 masks and N95 respirators that they have, there are a lot of forces and reasons that they must. Let us rank the ways to decontaminate the N95 masks and N95 respirators and make sure that they stick.
Ranking The Decontamination Methods
There are different ways of decontaminating your N95 masks. You have probably heard about the many different ways already. Let us first discuss them here:
- Vaporized hydrogen peroxide treatment. This is perhaps one of the most scientific ways that you can use to decontaminate your N95 masks and N95 respirators. The use of vaporized hydrogen peroxide has been found to have caused rapid inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 virus while at the same time they have preserved the integrity of N95 masks and N95 respirators under experimental conditions for 3 more uses.
- UV light. There are also some studies that have proven how the use of ultraviolet light has killed the virus more slowly but preserved respirator function almost as adequately as the other decontamination methods that are available for the use of N95 masks and N95 respirators.
- Steam boiling. Steam boiling in a rice cooker is also popular for many households to maximize the use of their N95 masks and N95 respirators.
- Dry heat at 70ºC. There are also individuals that have used dry heat and have seen that this process can actually kill the virus with similar speed to UV and is likely to maintain acceptable fit scores for 1 to 2 rounds of decontamination but should not be used for 3 times.
- Dry hanging for 72 hours. There are some people who do nothing with their N95 masks and N95 respirators. They only let the masks hang for around 72 hours and they believe that it is ready to be used.
Ranking The Decontamination Methods
Ranking the decontamination methods of your N95 masks and N95 respirators is easy if you already know your skill and your expertise.
- Scientifically speaking, the best kind of decontamination methods will be the use of vaporized hydrogen peroxide and the use of UV light. But, being the best does not necessarily mean that they are the safest. These steps are not going to fare well at homes where there are curious children who like to put their focus on things, especially the UV light exposure. If you live alone and have no children or you are all adults at home, you can definitely focus on this kind of decontamination method.
- If you fall under the kind of household where there are children that need to be taught how to handle sanitation procedures, the best process for you to use at home will be steam boiling at a rice cooker and letting the N95 masks and N95 respirators hang or the air drying for 72 hours. At least this way, you are sure that your children will not get their hands on chemicals or materials that could cause them harm.
Alternatives To Decontamination
There are also alternatives to decontamination methods of N95 masks and N95 respirators that can help you contain your supply. The following are some of the ways that you can maximize your N95 masks and N95 respirators supply without decontaminating the already-used N95 masks and N95 respirators.
- Buy surgical masks and use them alternatively with the N95 masks and N95 respirators. You can use surgical masks whenever you are just going out to run errands. While this can be costly, especially if you are going to use around 2 layers of masks just to feel protected but it is an alternative to decontamination.
- Make sure that you do not go out often. The best way to maximize your supply is to not use them. Limit your trips outside your home and you will find that you may get some help on this end.
- Use a face shield for that extra layer of protection. A face shield can help you add an extra layer of protection between your face and the N95 masks and N95 respirators and the environment.
- Buy N95 masks and N95 respirators that can be easily decontaminated by merely air drying.
- Try other N95 masks and N95 respirators products that are cheaper and yet effective.
Use Your N95 masks and N95 respirators Wisely
When you are using your N95 masks and N95 respirators, make sure that you use them properly. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to make sure that you are properly using the materials and the personal protective equipment that is expected of you. It is your responsibility to make sure that life will always be protected from any kind of pain and exposure from the virus. It is your responsibility to use and reuse your N95 masks and N95 respirators in such a way that you are not just helping yourself but in a way that you are also helping the community.