Filtration efficiency of N95 filtering facepiece respirators during multi-cycles of ‘8-hour simulated donning + disinfection’

Source avec lien : Journal of Hospital Infection, 127. 10.1016/j.jhin.2022.06.016

L’objectif de cette étude était d’étudier les méthodes de désinfection efficaces, la durée et la fréquence de réutilisation des masques respiratoires N95.

Background Aerosol-borne diseases such as COVID-19 may outbreak occasionally in various regions of the world, inevitably resulting in short-term shortage and corresponding reuse of disposable respirators. Aim To investigate the effective disinfection methods, reusable duration and frequency of N95 respirators. Methods Based on the self-built respirator simulation test system, and under combinations of experimental conditions of three N95 respirators × 0–200 nm NaCl aerosols × three simulated breathing flow rates (15, 50 and 85 L/min) × two disinfection methods (dry heating and ultraviolet (UV) radiation), this study continuously measured the changes in filtration efficiency of all respirators during multi-cycles of ‘8-h simulated donning + disinfection’ until the penetration reached ≥5%. Findings Multi-cycles of dry heating and UV radiation treatments on the reused (i.e., multiple 8-h donning) N95 respirators had a minimal effect (<0.5%) on the respirator filtration efficiency, and even at 85 L/min, all tested N95 respirators were able to maintain filtration efficiencies ≥95% for at least 30 h or four reuse cycles of ‘8-h donning + disinfection’, while a lower breathing flow rate (15 L/min) plus the exhalation valve could further extend the N95 respirator's usability duration up to 140 h or 18 reuse cycles of ‘8-h donning + disinfection’. As the respirator wearing time extended, aerosol penetration slowly increased in a quadratic function with a negative second-order coefficient, and the penetration increment during each cycle of 8-h donning was less than 0.9%. Conclusion Multi-cycles of N95 respirator reuse in combination with dry heating or UV irradiation disinfection are feasible. Lisez l’article

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