Topic: N95 masks used against coronavirus can be decontaminated with rice cooker
N95 respirator masks, used to protect against the novel coronavirus, among other diseases, can be decontaminated by placing them in a rice cooker or Instant Pot for 50 minutes, according to a study out of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
The N95 respirators are considered the gold standard of personal protective equipment when it comes to protection from airborne particles and droplets, according to health experts.
The masks, when placed in dry heat in an electric cooker, maintained their filtration capability and fit and were cleaned inside and out, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters. The findings suggest this may allow wearers to safely reuse the respirators, which are typically intended for one-time use.
“A pandemic such as COVID-19 can cause a sudden depletion of the worldwide supply of respirators, forcing health care providers to reuse them,” the researchers stated in the study.
The researchers found that when the masks were placed through one cycle in a rice cooker maintained at about 212°F for 50 minutes, the N95 respirators were decontaminated inside and out, from four different classes of the virus, including a coronavirus. The researchers stated in a news release that it was more effective than ultraviolet light against the virus, and noted that the masks’ filtration and fit remained intact.