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Thread: Post corona19 virus Recommendations.

  1. #26
    Master OptiBoarder
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Mitten State
    Ophthalmic Technician
    Regarding the loss of function of disposable N95 masks with repeated use, this table from a study of masks is rather convincing:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    *SN95 = Surgical N95, it's a special type of N95 that is FDA approved to be resistant to high pressure streams when splashed directly (something hopefully none of us will have to deal with, but is not exactly rare in surgery). An example of such is the 3M 1860.

    Note, the above does not apply to reusable masks that have replaceable filters.of N, R, & P types that are rated 95, 99, or 100, such as those sold by 3M. Those masks and filters can be used until they meet the standing criteria for replacement as provided by 3M. However, the donning and doffing procedures apply to these as they do to disposable masks, the surface of the replaceable filters can be contaminated with virus. As such, you should avoid touching them after the mask is worn and make sure to always decontaminate your hands by using hand sanitizer that is at least 70% ethanol/ethyl alcohol and/or proper hand washing procedures, as well as securing the mask filter surfaces, such as by putting it in a designated bag, so they do not come into contact with other people or surfaces and possibly contaminate them. Also note that the reusable types of masks usually have unfiltered venting. You will need to modify your reusable mask by securing the unfiltered vents in a closed position so you are not a risk to anyone else in case you are infected and have yet to show symptoms or are an asymptomatic carrier.

    One unofficial way to help extend the life of a disposable N95 respirator that needs to be reused due to necessity is to have a surgical mask over it, this will help improve the fit of the N95 as it is reused. Unfortunately, there have been no studies yet on how well this works, so please reserve it for a last resort if you have to keep re-using your disposable N95.

    Stay safe, everyone!

    **I have no business relationship or financial interest in 3M directly or indirectly, they are just my go to example for masks in general and are usually familiar to most Americans.
    Last edited by Lelarep; 12-01-2020 at 12:17 PM.

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