Can UV Light Be Used to Disinfect N95 Masks During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Proposes using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as a possible method for disinfecting respirators for the reuse of N95 respirators (masks) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time of this post, N95 masks are currently considered critical supplies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reserved for health care workers and medical first responders. Across the healthcare industry, these masks are in limited supply.

When properly used, N95 masks filter out 95% of small particle aerosols and large droplets to substantially reduce a user’s exposure to the novel coronavirus. However, the manufacturers recommend that N95 masks be discarded after a single exposure.

In the wake of a shortage of masks, this has proved to be a source of great concern as providers have been forced to use substitutes that offer far less protection.

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