With the explosion in consumption of face masks and the implications for the environment by disposing of them, alternative disinfection methods for any kind of face masks are needed. This is especially helpful for communities that may not have access to special equipment nor even access to common chemicals to disinfect their face masks. Also, if surgical masks and N95 respirators that are already being used by the public are effectively reusable through dry heat disinfection, mask waste will be reduced, thus helping to reduce the shortage (1).
COVID-19 can survive up to 21 days on a face mask and up to 28 days on other surfaces and cause fomite transmission (2). This leads to the statement of the W.H.O. that face masks may carry a risk of COVID-19 infection when not used properly. Thus they suggest when the face mask is taken off it should be stored in a clean place (3).
Based on the need for alternative disinfection methods and the risk of fomite transmission BoxMeo has investigated alternative methods to disinfect face masks. At BoxMeo we rely on the evidence of science and work on solutions to ensure a hygienic usage of the face mask. In doing, so we provide a hygienic and sustainable method to inactivate COVID-19. The following article provides insight into the scientific background of our product BoxMeo.
A study published in the journal "The Lancet" says that the coronavirus is susceptible to heat. When the ambient temperature was raised to 70 degrees, the virus was inactivated within five minutes (4).
Another study shows that coronaviruses can already be inactivated at relatively low temperatures. For most samples, application times of approximately 32.5, 3.7, and 0.5 minutes will be sufficient at 60°C, 80°C, and 100°C, respectively, for virus inactivation of 99.999% (5).
Researchers emphasize the importance of alternative methods to decontaminate PPE as a useful strategy to fight the long-term shortage of face masks. Tests have been conducted where different face masks (surgical and KN95) were placed in the oven in a steel box at both 60 °C and 70 °C for 1 hour. The result showed that 6 types of respiratory bacteria and one type of fungus were successfully killed as well as the H1N1 virus. Similar to SARS-CoV-2 the H1N1 virus spreads among humans via the respiratory tract and is an RNA-enveloped virus which makes it comparable regarding heat resistance.
This study has come closest to the BoxMeo use case since the face mask has been placed inside a steel box to ensure even heating in the oven when tested. In some ovens, limited space may require the masks to be placed close to the heating appliances and cause poor air convection, leading to a higher temperature than intended. A steel box can overcome such obstacles. Notably, this study was aimed to provide recommendations for home use, although medical workers may benefit from the information with caution (6).
At BoxMeo we recommend using the heat of sunlight when the weather conditions are right, to avoid any contact with possibly contaminated face masks in the living area.
A study confirms that heat (≤85 °C) under various humidities was the most promising, nondestructive method for the preservation of filtration properties in melt-blown fabrics as well as N95-grade respirators. At 85 °C, they were able to perform 50 cycles of heat treatment without significant changes in the filtration efficiency (7). Another study confirms that dry heat disinfection of COVID-19 at 70 ℃ for 30 minutes had the least effect on damaging the filtering mechanism of the mask, and the filtering effect could be maintained above 95% (8).
With this being said, BoxMeo is a hygienic and sustainable method to inactivate COVID-19.
Order your BoxMeo now to stop the growing corona waste and keep you and the ones close to you safe!
Much health from the BoxMeo team ♥
1. Yan, R., Chillrud, S., Magadini, D. L., & Yan, B. (2020). Developing home-disinfection and filtration efficiency improvement methods for N95 respirators and surgical facial masks: stretching supplies and better protection during the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection Vol, 37(1).
2. Kasloff, S. B., Leung, A., Strong, J. E., Funk, D., & Cutts, T. (2021). Stability of SARS-CoV-2 on critical personal protective equipment. Scientific reports, 11(1), 1-7.
3. WHO (2020); Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: When and how to use masks; access at 03.02.2021.
4. Chin, A. W., Chu, J. T., Perera, M. R., Hui, K. P., Yen, H. L., Chan, M. C., ... & Poon, L. L. (2020). Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions. The Lancet Microbe, 1(1), e10.
5. Hessling, M., Hoenes, K., & Lingenfelder, C. (2020). Selection of parameters for thermal coronavirus inactivation–a data-based recommendation. GMS hygiene and infection control, 15.
6. Xiang, Y., Song, Q., & Gu, W. (2020). Decontamination of surgical face masks and N95 respirators by dry heat pasteurization for one hour at 70°C. American journal of infection control, 48(8), 880–882.
7. Liao, L., Xiao, W., Zhao, M., Yu, X., Wang, H., Wang, Q., ... & Cui, Y. (2020). Can N95 respirators be reused after disinfection? How many times?. ACS nano, 14(5), 6348-6356.
8. Rubio-Romero, J. C., del Carmen Pardo-Ferreira, M., García, J. A. T., & Calero-Castro, S. (2020). Disposable masks: Disinfection and sterilization for reuse, and non-certified manufacturing, in the face of shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safety Science, 104830.
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