Alliance Laundry Systems, a manufacturer of commercial laundry equipment, has helped to develop a protocol for the viral decontamination of certain models of N95 masks, according to a recent news release.
Alliance’s release says that the protocol will potentially quadruple the useful life of this important personal protective equipment (PPE). Research suggests masks could be decontaminated up to three times, while preserving fit and filtration.
This method of decontamination builds off evidence provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which showed that submitting N95 masks to dry heating cycles (70C/158F), reduces the SARS-COV-2 viral load by three orders of magnitude.
“With the life-and-death importance of this protective equipment and its current scarcity, our company jumped at the chance to work collaboratively with graduate researchers on an N95 Decontamination task force at Stanford University to design a method that enables reuse of N95 masks,” said Rick Pyle, president and chief commercial officer of Alliance Laundry Systems.
Testing suggests that specific masks can be decontaminated up to three times without excessive damage to their fit and filtration. The CDC/NPPTL (NIOSH) labs provided filtration and fit data on new masks which underwent the decontamination treatment. Lab results and test data have now been submitted to the FDA for emergency use authorization (EUA).
Through a Stanford N95 Decontamination task force in the lab of Professor Manu Prakash, graduate student members, Edward Mazenc, Daniel Ranard, and Yuri Lensky, worked to study the viability of the temperature data findings for decontamination.
Findings are currently in peer review.
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