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How to safely reuse your sanitary and N95 face masks

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How to safely reuse your sanitary and N95 face masks

By THE NATION

 

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UV-C sterilisers can effectively kill the Covid-19 virus and allow you to reuse your sanitary and N95 face masks, research shows.

 

 

Assistant Prof Dr Thaya Kittiyakorn from Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, and Suratchanee Sawetsila, Director of Drugs and Narcotics Office at Department of Medical Sciences, revealed their research result that UV-C sterilisers could effectively kill germs, including the Covid-19 contagion, on sanitary and N95 face masks, making them safe for reuse.

 

“The UV-C sterilisers are commonly available at medical equipment stores and they could help reduce the mask shortage problem that medical staff all over the world are facing,” said Thaya.

 

“Using UV-C radiation can sterilise masks without damaging or straining the fiber. Although sterilisers can clean a face mask up to eight times, we recommend reusing a face mask only four times before throwing it away for sanitary reason.”

 

They added that they had recommended to the Ministry of Public Health to provide UV-C sterilisers to hospitals nationwide, as well as sourcing for additional manufacturers both domestic and overseas to prepare for increased demand in the future.

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30385406

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-04-04

 

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Not quite the medical version, but for a bit over 3,100 Baht this ought to do the job. You'll have to turn the mask around to clean both sides, but for a family using it several times a day it's not over-expensive.

 

https://www.lazada.co.th/products/220-uvc-led-i860020178-s1737978721.html?spm=a2o4m.searchlist.list.24.326e7bd06kQbX9&search=1

 

 

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51 minutes ago, lelapin said:

Is placing a mask in a microwave for a short time any benefit in keeping it reusable

Yes, the info is from here https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/microwave-mask-disinfect-covid-virus/

This site has the best researched info.

Bottom line on microwaving masks to disinfect viruses:

Microwaving items that are contaminated with viruses can work to inactivate the virus. Data shows that you should microwave at 600W or higher for at least 2 minutes to deactivate viruses. However, microwaving masks isn’t recommended. It can be tricky and potentially destructive to your mask. You need to first ensure all the metal has been removed from the mask, and be careful that microwaving for 2 minutes doesn’t damage the mask or set it alight.

 

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8 minutes ago, monkfish said:

What about putting them out in the Sun that would be a cheaper source of UV light?

Bingo. I do that everyday already. Not sure whether it is effective but hours of heat should kill it.

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Hold over the steam of a pot of boiling water with a pair of tongs for 1.5 minutes on each side of the mask.

 

 

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Please google, but there are a few options to get some limited extra use out of your surgical masks :

 

- Oven - tried this yesterday- 15 minutes at 120 Celsius. Mixed results, I have 3 different brands of mask, 2 were OK, one developed a strong cocoa smell (weird) so I binned that one. If you wanted to get more medical about it, I suppose you could replicate an autoclave and put some water in there as well to make a steam bath. 

- I would guess that washing and leaving in the direct UV bath of Thailand’s sun for a good few hours would also be fairly effective.

- Sticking them on a colander over some boiling water for 10 minutes

- Someone showed me a video from Taiwan, where they are putting masks in rice cookers (no water) for 8-10 minutes.

 

Keep in mind the advice in the OP, even doing these things, you should probably use a mask maximum of 5 times.

 

If you have a few masks at hand, good to rotate them as well, ‘sterilizing’ as above and leaving well alone for 2-3 days will help keep them cleaner. 

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1 hour ago, kevin612 said:

How can Thai people afford UV-C sterilisers? Most of them can’t even afford N95 masks.

If you don't use them for a while the virus will die anyway, i thought it was 5 days but that's in a cool climate.

 

Thai can hang em in the sun, plenty of Uv there i guess.

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