N95 respirators are being used by individuals all over the world. It is one of the best things that people need now in order to survive this pandemic. These disposable pieces of personal protective equipment are all meant to get used once. 

In this article, we discuss some of the reasons why you should not throw out your used N95 respirators, N95 masks, and all other personal protective equipment. There are a lot of ways for you to love your N95 respirators and maximize its use. 

The Many Reasons Why You Should Not Throw Out The N95 Respirator After One Use

There are a lot of reasons why you should never throw out your N95 mask after use and they are the following:

They can be decontaminated and reused. 

A lot of people already know that the N95 masks can be decontaminated and reused. You can easily use N95 respirators and have them decontaminated through the many ways that studies have guaranteed. As long as you follow the requirements set for you, you can be sure that the exposed N95 respirators are all good. The following are some of the decontamination methods that you can follow:

  • 72 Hour Wait. Some studies have shown that the coronavirus leaves on surfaces for up to 3 days. Hence, some individuals are saying that even if you just wait up to 72 hours, you can surely get the protection that you need from the mask again after the period. The 72 hour wait is one of the simplest steps that individuals can take in decontaminating them N95 masks. Keep in mind that at least with the N95 mask and the N95 respirators, you can be sure that you will be protected by the mask.
  • Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide. The process takes some expertise in the medical field and is not always recommended to individuals. However, if you are looking for a way to make sure that you will not have to deal with the problem. 
  • According to the experts, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) sterilization was previously used in plasma sterilizers. It is “a low temperature sterilization process commonly used to sterilize heat-sensitive devices. A hydrogen peroxide sterilization process involves filling the sterilizer chamber with H2O2 vapor. Once the sterilization cycle is complete, the vapor is vacuumed from the chamber and converted to water and oxygen.”

  • Steam Boiling. Steam boiling is another one of those things that individuals would often look at when cleaning anything. The rice cooker technique is the one that is often used by individuals in their separate households so they can easily clean and decontaminate their N95 masks and N95 respirators.
  • Blow Dry Hanging. Blow dry hanging is one of those things that individuals should learn more about. It is simple and only requires at least one week of blow dry hanging. 

  • They can be recycled after decontamination. 

    The N95 masks can also be recycled after decontamination. There are different ways that this gets done and individuals should know that they can at least rely on the masks to easily get reused.

    They should be discarded as a batch and thrown separately from other trash. You should not throw out your N95 masks as soon as you use it because you need to always make sure that you discard the masks properly as well. Keep them in a container upon removal and you can reuse them after a certain period. 

    They can be used as a symbol of hope.

    You can throw your N95 masks as a symbol of hope. You know that you are taking care of yourself and that you there will always be a chance to make things better. The N95 masks are a figure of hope and that is something that you should keep in mind. 

    When Should You Throw Out Your N95 Masks? 

    It is also important for you to know when you should give up on the N95 masks and throw them out. The following are the situations when you should already throw out your N95 masks:

    • When the fit is no longer perfect. When the fit is no longer perfect, it is important for you to get rid of the N95 mask and make sure that you can already remove it. It is necessary for individuals to know that an ill-fitted N95 mask is not something that you would want to have as it no longer functions the way that it should.
    • When there are already obvious changes on the filter material. The filter of the N95 mask is the more important part of the mask that could guarantee your protection. Make sure that your N95 mask still has the right layers even if there are obvious changes on the filter material.

    You Will Get The Hang Of It

    At the end of the day, keep in mind that you will get the hang of it. You will eventually know how to discern the right N95 respirators that you can still reuse and the ones that can no longer get reused. You may also learn more about how you can maximize the use of the materials after some time especially given that the pandemic is far from over. It is your responsibility to always have at least a way to maximize the resources that we currently have. It is important that you do so and that you are always ready for such an important aspect of life nowadays - protecting yourself from the virus.

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