Image_2_Controlled Heat and Humidity-Based Treatment for the Reuse of Personal Protective Equipment: A Pragmatic Proof-of-Concept to Address the Mass .tif (219.65 kB)

Image_2_Controlled Heat and Humidity-Based Treatment for the Reuse of Personal Protective Equipment: A Pragmatic Proof-of-Concept to Address the Mass Shortage of Surgical Masks and N95/FFP2 Respirators and to Prevent the SARS-CoV2 Transmission.tif

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posted on 20.10.2020, 10:35 by Louis Bernard, Guillaume Desoubeaux, Elsa Bodier-Montagutelli, Jeoffrey Pardessus, Déborah Brea, Laurine Allimonnier, Sébastien Eymieux, Pierre-Ivan Raynal, Virginie Vasseur, Laurent Vecellio, Ludovic Mathé, Antoine Guillon, Philippe Lanotte, Jérémie Pourchez, Paul O. Verhoeven, Stéphane Esnouf, Muriel Ferry, Nicolas Eterradossi, Yannick Blanchard, Paul Brown, Philippe Roingeard, Jean-Pierre Alcaraz, Philippe Cinquin, Mustapha Si-Tahar, Nathalie Heuzé-Vourc'h

Background: The coronavirus infectious disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to an unprecedented shortage of healthcare resources, primarily personal protective equipment like surgical masks, and N95/filtering face piece type 2 (FFP2) respirators.

Objective: Reuse of surgical masks and N95/FFP2 respirators may circumvent the supply chain constraints and thus overcome mass shortage. Methods, design, setting, and measurement: Herein, we tested the effects of dry- and moist-air controlled heating treatment on structure and chemical integrity, decontamination yield, and filtration performance of surgical masks and FFP2 respirators.

Results: We found that treatment in a climate chamber at 70°C during 1 h with 75% humidity rate was adequate for enabling substantial decontamination of both respiratory viruses, oropharyngeal bacteria, and model animal coronaviuses, while maintaining a satisfying filtering capacity.

Limitations: Further studies are now required to confirm the feasibility of the whole process during routine practice.

Conclusion: Our findings provide compelling evidence for the recycling of pre-used surgical masks and N95/FFP2 respirators in case of imminent mass shortfall.

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