For those healthcare workers facing a shortage of N95 masks, Stanford researchers have published guidance stating that such masks can be sterilized and reused with virtually no loss of filtration efficiency by leaving in oven for 30 mins at 70C / 158F. Don’t throw your masks away!
- Frontline health care workers across the United States report shortages of PPE ranging from gloves, protective gowns, eyewear and face masks.
- It is unknown how wearing the same mask multiple times effects the fit of N95 masks [NIOSH]
- NIOSH states “there is no way of determining the maximum possible number of safe reuses for an N95 respirator as a generic number to be applied in all cases” and advise to “discard N95 respirators following use during aerosol-generating procedures.”
- Some methods of N95 mask disinfection can maintain filtration efficiency. Their effect on mask fit is unknown, and these methods are not approved by NIOSH.