Kn95 respirator mask is an example of personal protective equipment (PPE). This mask is worn to prevent one from exposure to infectious respiratory illness. It covers the nose and mouth of the wearer, thus offering protection from liquid and airborne particles contaminating the face. The masks supplies can deplete during a pandemic of infectious respiratory illness. The shortage leads to creative approaches for the repurposing of KN95 masks. The mask can be cleaned and decontaminated hence inactivating the viral load present. The following are some of the decontamination methods that can be used in kn95 how to clean masks and make it safe for reuse.
KN95 Mask Hydrogen Peroxide Vaporization
Vaporized hydrogen peroxide kills germs on worn masks.Kn95 masks are sterilized by cleaning them with liquid or vaporized hydrogen peroxide. The vaporized hydrogen peroxide penetrates the mask layers killing the microbes without deteriorating the mask. The mask still retains its filtration element and allows breathability after decontaminating it with this method. It also does not deform is the shape and retains the elasticity of the straps. This method is carried out in hospitals using specialized equipment.
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KN95 Mask Heat & Moisture
Moist heat is an effective way of inactivating viral particles. When contaminated kn95 masks are heated for 30 minutes at 60-70°C with humidity of 85% RH, it decontaminates, making it safe for re-use. This humidity and temperature range are achieved through the use of a proofing oven, an incubator, or an environmental chamber. This method does not affect the filter integrity of the mask, making it a suitable practice that can be used in kn95 how to clean.
KN95 mask UV treatment
Another method that is used to clean and decontaminate kn95 masks is by UV treatment. This method is the best and is done in hospitals through the use of ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI). It involves exposing the contaminated masks to radiations for at least 15 minutes on each of the inner and outer parts. The UV radiation renders all viral particles making them inactivate. UV treatment helps the mask retain its integrity by ensuring minimal mask degradation. This method can only be carried out in a hospital; hence the use of home UV light is not recommended.
KN95 Mask Dry Heat
Dry heat is a method that is used in the decontamination of kn95 masks. Contaminated masks are dry heated in extreme heat in an autoclave or an oven for thirty minutes at 70°C. Dry heating the masks adequately kills viral particles and preserves the mask integrity for reuse. Research tests show that this method can be used for two cycles in decontaminating the mask without compromising its functional element.
The above are the practical methods that can be used to clean kn95 masks. The decontamination methods do not degrade the filtration efficiency of the cover. The mask retains its breathability even after it is cleaned. Also, the mask does not deform its shape, and the straps keep its elasticity. The methods successfully decontaminate all organisms or pathogens, rendering the mask sterile. Therefore, kn95 masks decontaminated using the above methods are viral free rendering them harmless to end-users.