The use of ultraviolet light to disinfect N95 respirators has minimal impact on their form and function, allowing the reuse of the masks, according to a recent National Institute of Standards and Technology study.
NIST researchers partnered with a private manufacturer of UV-C systems and an antimicrobial testing company to determine how UV-C light – a known disinfectant for air, water and nonporous surfaces, according to the Federal Drug Administration – could be used to disinfect N95s, which protect against the inhalation of dangerous particles such as viruses and bacteria.
The respirators were doused with a human coronavirus called OC43 – a relative of the virus that causes COVID-19 – and placed in an enclosure with 19 UV-C lamps that were turned on for three minutes at a time. The process was repeated 10 times. The study was published online in the Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
For more information, visit www.nvlpubs.nist.gov.