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OSHA Provides Guidelines on Reusing Disposable N95 Masks


Due to the continued difficulties in accessing personal protective equipment, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim guidance on the decontamination and reuse of N95 filtering face piece respirators among healthcare providers. The organization has identified the following methods as acceptable to decontaminate such masks, enabling their reuse:

  • Vaporous hydrogen peroxide
  • Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation and/or moist heat (i.e., using an oven)
  • If the methods above are not available, microwave-generated steam or liquid hydrogen peroxide could also be suitable

Read more here.

  1. Robert E Bell DMD says

    Thank you!
    The information was very appropriate and timely.

  2. Chris says

    What is the Oven Temp and total time used for the above listed protocols? I found this listed at the Stony Univ. of NY website. https://news.stonybrook.edu/sb_medicine/dry-heat-ovens-can-effectively-disinfect-n95-masks/

    Healthcare providers place a used 3M respirator mask in a paper bag labeled with their name and work location before delivery to the processing center. The bags containing the masks are then sealed with heat indicator tape before they are placed in the oven. Following treatment for 30 minutes at 100˚C (212˚F), the same bags can then be returned to the clinical care providers.

  3. Richard Sable says

    What would be more helpful is if instructions were given on how long to microwave or other instructions

    1. Lisa says

      Be careful if microwaving, it may have a metal nose piece !

  4. David Noble DDS says

    What about using a CPAP cleaning device like SoClean to sterilize mask. It uses Ozone (O3) to kill bacteria in the system. It is quick and easy and does not damage the mask. I depend on it to keep my CPAP unit safe.

  5. A.Harris says

    OSHA says you can decontaminate The n95 Masks but they don’t tell you how to do it.

  6. Dr. Larry Downs says

    not very good advise, offices are unable to get the process right.
    Please read :: best Tx for reuse is wear n95 mask all day covered by level 1-2-3 at end of day place in brown bag name , date, and number of uses, day 2 issue 2nd mask repeat, for days 3-4-5 , reuse mask # 1 the following Monday it will be 7 days , virus will not be active after 2-4 days according who you ask, but 7 days should work, and no damage to mask. The processes you offering, gives a margin of damaging mask. This process has been tested out to 50 reuses and reports are good , please decrease times of use to 10-15 and start process again. The dental directors have left the dentist , to sink not swim . The medical Dr’s seem to have almost no limit on mask that they can get ?? ADA , fell face first !!! The Dental office will be the next hot spot, and the dentist are going to be caught with their pants down. It appears many are going to roll the dice. I hope this helps, the only other thing is spend 150. dollars on UV-C, unit like toaster oven and place mask in it for 1 min. i think the light out put is 254 ?? after 7 days, difficult to find , most are 9.95 made in China don’t use, its better if you can find UV-i not sure you can find this, my research said 10 sec. would do damage to your eyes. If you find UV-i it will most likely be medical grade at over 4000. dollar, just rotate 7 days. Do your own research, i am not responsible for what i write, but you can bet my Son, and Daughter will follow these instructions, i am only telling you what i found, so do not use unless you find the same thing i found, but i will be betting my whole family, and my grandsons life on what you are now reading.

  7. Sai says

    I need N95 anti bacterial mask 3 PC’s in kolkata.how much does it cost.let me know pls.regards

  8. Nancy torres says

    You can not use that mask that what you’re guys mean

  9. Tapan Kumar Das says

    Before sterilization N95 mask how to cleaning and disinfection??

  10. SHELLEY FITCH says

    You do not clean it. Sterilization and disinfection are the same thing.

    1. Ann Sarrip says

      No, sterilization and disinfection are NOT the same thing.

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