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  #1  
Old 04-03-2020, 10:11 AM
flechero flechero is offline
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Can N95 masks be cleaned?

if sanitizer and alcohol can kill virus- can an N95 be safely cleaned by spraying down [inside and out] with 91% Isopropyl and let dry?


And what is the difference between an industrial and medical N95 mask?

Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:23 AM
slopemeno slopemeno is offline
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Yes, in fact one of colleagues told me of a lab that is sending their used ones through an autoclave to reuse.

I would use 95% ethanol, but then again, I have a couple of hundred gallons on hand to do so.
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Old 04-03-2020, 11:44 AM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Considering the media works via static charge to allow it to electrically trap the smaller particles it's rated for I would say no.
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2020, 11:57 AM
Rob S Rob S is offline
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See this article regarding sterilization using vaporized hydrogen peroxide. For people without special equipment, this process is difficult. https://news.yahoo.com/duke-universi...213138894.html

Not being an expert in this issue, and there are few experts in this topic, I would be reluctant to use anything that would soak the material and cause it collapse or lose its shape, thickness, and/or texture.

Regarding the differences between N95 medical and industrial, I read and heard several reports that medical facilities were very happy to receive industrial N95 masks. Read this 3M statement since the internet is full of "experts" who know nothing. https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/...o-consider.pdf
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:13 PM
brickeyee brickeyee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob S View Post
See this article regarding sterilization using vaporized hydrogen peroxide. For people without special equipment, this process is difficult. https://news.yahoo.com/duke-universi...213138894.html

Not being an expert in this issue, and there are few experts in this topic, I would be reluctant to use anything that would soak the material and cause it collapse or lose its shape, thickness, and/or texture.

Regarding the differences between N95 medical and industrial, I read and heard several reports that medical facilities were very happy to receive industrial N95 masks. Read this 3M statement since the internet is full of "experts" who know nothing. https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/...o-consider.pdf
Even 3M missed another detail.
Surgical masks cannot have an exhale valve.
That would allow the wearer to contaminate a sterile area when exhaling.

None of their images have exhale valves.
I have some NIOSH N95 masks rated for radiation daughters.

For the most part the 'static electricity' meme is Bovine Scatology.
Air flow over filters like this is not fast enough to generate static electricity.

If you want to use an electric field to attract
and trap particles you need a real source of high voltage.
The current is usually very tiny, just enough to cover leakage.
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:15 PM
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apipeguy apipeguy is online now
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Since they are saying that the virus dies between 24 and 72 hours depending on the surface would a mask just left for three days not be free of the virus?
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:18 PM
PolymerMan PolymerMan is offline
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The virus dies when the masks dries out. This could take up to 4 days or as quick as a few hours.

Like some others have stated, the filtering static charged material is damaged by liquids like alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and chlorine bleach water water solution.

High temperature also damages the fibers because they are polypropylene fibers and they will melt.

But... there are two methods suggested to extend use.

I found an article several weeks ago that suggested using 4 masks (if you can get your hands on four per person). Mark them as #1, #2, #3, and #4. Use mask #1 on day one, #2 on day two...etc. The theory is that by rotating them and letting the masks rest for at least 72 to 96 hours, the mask dries out of any microscopic mucus/saliva droplets carrying the virus and the virus dries up and dies.

The other method involves placing the mask in a regular oven and heating it for 30 mins at no more than 160 degrees F. No less than 158 degrees. They know that a temperature of 158 degrees F kills the virus. But you must be careful because the masks can deform. Don't let the mask come into contact with any metal surface because in an oven the metal surfaces are generally much higher than the air temperature. Heat will melt the polypropylene fibers, fuse them together, deform the mask and prevent the air spaces from moving air through them.

I found this information here https://www.sages.org/n-95-re-use-instructions/ but they have removed that information for further evaluation. It came from a foreign doctor. But I think it is the most informed method to reuse the mask instead of wearing the same soiled one day in and day out.
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:27 PM
PolymerMan PolymerMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob S View Post
See this article regarding sterilization using vaporized hydrogen peroxide. For people without special equipment, this process is difficult. https://news.yahoo.com/duke-universi...213138894.html

Not being an expert in this issue, and there are few experts in this topic, I would be reluctant to use anything that would soak the material and cause it collapse or lose its shape, thickness, and/or texture.

Regarding the differences between N95 medical and industrial, I read and heard several reports that medical facilities were very happy to receive industrial N95 masks. Read this 3M statement since the internet is full of "experts" who know nothing. https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/...o-consider.pdf
The hydrogen Peroxide gas method uses a really expensive piece of hardware developed for sanitizing other surgical instruments. The CDC only a few days ago approved it for masks. It involves ionizing H2O2 into a plasma cloud. Not something you can DIY and it isn't boiling H2O2 in a stove top and placing the mask in the vapors. Its a far more complicated process.

Hydrogen Peroxide is probably the best anti-viral disinfectant. The 3% solution found at pharmacies works better than soap and water and alcohol because it ruptures the wall of the viral pathogen, effectively killing it. I saw some studies comparing various ways to kill viruses and H2O2 seems to have the highest efficacy.
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Old 04-03-2020, 01:52 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is online now
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Knob Creek 120. At 60% alcohol, it ought kill it on contact.

Heh heh......This virus can kiss my a$$.
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Old 04-03-2020, 02:31 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10957816/

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1...e-paper-en.pdf

They definitely use that system in their media which is why I said it in the first place. It's not reusable
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