As COVID-19 continues to spread, we must each do our part to help reduce transmission rates. With the coronavirus claiming over 2 million cases and over 150,000 deaths worldwide, wash hands regularly and wearing masks in the public are proven ways to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
Masks are considered essential protection against Covid-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus – and demand is overwhelming and increasingly so as the infection makes its way around the world.
Surgical and medical masks are made for single use.
A recent laboratory study found that the virus that causes COVID-19 could survive on a face mask for up to seven days.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advices on wearing a face covering in public to slow spread of COVID-19, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Because of severe shortages of respirators and surgical masks in the COVID-19 pandemic, our team begins to wonder: Are there cleaning or sterilization methods that make it possible to reuse single-use face masks?
This is a unique and challenging time and the Phoenix team is looking beyond the normal practice to find a safe and effective way to kill the coronavirus without harming a mask’s ability to filter particles.
New research by University of Hong Kong has thrown new light at the survival capacity of novel coronavirus in various environments. The new virus causing COVID-19 is highly stable at cold temperatures and it can live on a tissue paper for 3 hours before it dies.
On the outer layer of face mask, it lasts for seven days, reveal the findings. In the case of treated wood and cloth, the virus dies only after 2 days, while on smooth surfaces after 4 days, in case of steel, it is 7 days, said the research.
The right way to use and clean your mask during the COVID-19 pandemic
Dry Heat vs Ultraviolet (UV) light
One recent study published in The Lancet - Microbe commissioned by the Hong Kong University showed that 70 degree Celsius was effective in killing the coronavirus.
According to new research being conducted at the Stony Brook University, dry heat treatments have been shown to be effective for disinfecting N95 masks.
The study showed no visible structural damage to the N95 masks.
Taiwan health authorities have announced in April ways to make a mask last for as long as possible. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) research shows the mask maintained 99% of of its original Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) after three to five dry heating treatment.
UV light is already used in hospitals to disinfect contaminated surfaces. The UV light used in medical disinfection devices is a particular wavelength of UVC. However, UV will damage your skin and eyes, and you won’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late. That said, there aren’t any clear independent standards in place to determine whether consumer-oriented UV disinfection devices are truly effective.