What the CDC says about decontaminating N95 masks?

N95 Respirators:

The mask N95 consists of non-woven synthetic fiber that can filter about 95 percent of the airborne harmful particles. Different forms of smaller particles, including bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, pollen spores, and dust particles, are filtered by N95 respirators and are the cause of air pollution in various areas.

N95 face respirators were just demand for professional places before the corona pandemic. But now N95 face filtrating respirators are more and more demanded by healthcare workers and by the public. Therefore, not all masks are the same for viruses, bacteria, pneumonia, and smoke filtration. N95 face filtrating respirator is professionally recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and health management.

The growing demand for these N95 masks is increasing the production of N95 masks in most countries. N95 face filtrating respirators are easy to use and if anyone uses it, their makers have made it with a soft material that does not cause any kind of irritation to human skin. N95 face respirator has strong edges sealing for giving good protection to the nose and mouth from viral particles.

Use of N95 masks:

N95 face filtrating respirators good quality function is a key consideration for safe, extended use. Workers in other industries use N95 respirators uninterrupted for many hours on a daily basis. This is not recommended to the general public by the government. N95 masks have a number of the greatest characteristics to cover individuals. For the general public, surgical masks are advised to cover them and keep them safe from COVID-19 transmission.

Discard N95 respirators for the following use during aerosol generating procedures. Typically, individuals throw away N95 respirators contaminated with the blood, respiratory or nasal secretions, or other body fluids of patients. Discard N95 respirators after close contact with, or leaving, the treatment area of any patient co-infected with an infectious disease requiring contact precautions.

CDC (Diseases control center):

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a major public health institute. CDC is a federal agency of the United States under the Department of Health and Human Services and is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Its primary purpose is to protect public health and safety in the US and globally through the management and prevention of illness, injury, and disability. The CDC focuses on national emphasis on the development and implementation of disease control and prevention. CDC particularly focuses on infectious diseases, foodborne pathogens, environmental protection, occupational safety and health, health promotion.

Its purpose is prevention of accidents and educational programs aimed at improving the health of U.S. people. The CDC also conducts studies and offers data on non-infectious diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, and is a founding member of the National Public Health Institutes International Association.

What is Decontamination of Face filtrating masks?

Decontamination is a way of reducing the number of contaminants before reusing them on used FFRs. To minimize the possibility of self-contamination, it is used. Only where face filtrating mask shortages occur should decontamination and subsequent reuse of FFRs be practiced. Only on NIOSH-approved FFRs without exhalation valves should decontamination be undertaken.

As a result of modifications to the filtering material, braces, nose bridge material, or strap attachments of the FFR, decontamination may cause poorer fit, decreased filtration performance, and decreased breathability of disposable FFRs. Decontamination can create risks of chemical inhalation and should be assessed for off-gassing.

What the CDC says about decontaminating N95 masks?

The CDC Strategies for Maximizing the Supply of N95 face filtrating  masks have been written to follow a continuum of traditional (everyday practice), contingency (expected shortages), and crisis (known shortages) capabilities using the surge ability method. N95 face filtrating masks are intended to be disposed of after each submission. To help healthcare facilities maintain their supplies in the face of shortages, the CDC developed emergency and crisis plans.

CDC has different guidelines on how to decontaminate their particular face filtrating respirator models that can only be reliably issued by respirator manufacturers. In the absence of advice from the manufacturer, third parties can also provide instructions or procedures on how to decontaminate the respirator without affecting the efficiency of the respirator.

For any FFR model currently being used under the respiratory safety program of a hospital, decontamination methods should be evaluated. The process should be tested, or data from third-party decontaminators should be made available, showing that:

After each step of decontamination, filtration efficiency is not impaired.  After each step of decontamination, the proper output of the respirator is not compromised. Degassing of chemicals for decontamination falls below the allowable range.

For certain models of N95 FFRs, NIOSH has assessed the filtration and fit efficiency using a number of methods of decontamination. These assessments were made on clean, unused respirators that were decontaminated and did not include the effectiveness of the virus or bacteria inactivation process. Because NIOSH is also an institute about the protection of healthcare workers.

Conclusion:

CDC is the center of disease control. It does not only have the responsibility to control COVID spread. But it has to give people instruction, how they can save themselves from other diseases. This may be caused by this virus. So, the CDC has issued a list of guidelines on how to decontaminate N95 masks. We need to follow these guidelines to make ourselves and families safe.

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