Safety

Reusing N95 masks

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, May 28, 2020

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FDA says 4 million N95 masks could be reused thanks to emergency orders

by Brian Ward

The FDA issued two emergency use authorizations (EUA) for decontaminating and reprocessing disposable N95 masks this spring, saying these changes have the potential “to decontaminate approximately 4 million N95 or N95-equivalent respirators per day in the U.S. for reuse by health care workers in hospital settings.”

The decontamination method described in the EUAs involves spraying single-use masks with vaporized hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The concentration of H2O2, how long the masks need to be exposed, and the drying times vary depending on the system or products, but the basic steps are:

  • Place the used masks inside a room or chamber
  • Fill the room with concentrated H2O2 vapor
  • Drain the gas and let the masks dry
  • Reuse and repeat

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

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