Can You Reuse an N95 Face Mask?

N95 mask made in USA

The Coronavirus variants are springing up all over the world to bring a dramatic change in the virus’s behavior. The mutations seem to have found the key for entering human cells more conveniently raising concerns over their impact on the immunity and effectiveness of vaccines.

It is crucial to follow the recommended guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for taking preventive measures. Surgical masks and N95 respirator masks are proven effective for slowing down transmission of viral particles provided they are worn properly. Both the masks are designed for single use although conserving and reusing N95 respirator masks is a considerable option in the prevailing pandemic situation provided the wearers take care of donning, doffing, storage, and disposal.

How to Decontaminate N95 respirators?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has only approved limited strategies for reusing N95 face masks made in USA to reduce the risk of contamination. It is recommended to use one N95 respirator each day to store and air dry in a breathable bag to decontaminate naturally. Keep the used masks for at least 5 days before reusing them again to let the pathogens to die off. The rotation strategy is what most health care workers have practiced throughout the pandemic to treat patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 while protecting themselves with essential PPEs.

Are they Effective against the Virus?

An N95 respirator mask remains effective against the virus as long as it is not damaged and its filter works efficiently. The structural integrity should not be compromised in any case for optimal performance of the respirator so that the head straps and other parts fit snuggly over the face and wearer does not need to adjust the mask frequently. Reusing N95 respirator masks in rotation is the safest method adopted by most health care workers in their work routine to ensure maximum protection against the virus. Buyers can choose to buy from a wide selection of face mask from various reputed brands available at keeping five N95 respirators in rotation for simultaneous use.

Is it Safe to Reuse Decontaminated N95 Respirator Masks?

It is critical to ensure that reusing an N95 face mask made in USA will not expose the wearer to any leftover pathogens or residual chemical hazard. Moreover, the respirator should fit and secure a tight seal to avoid inhaling and exhaling infectious particles. Breathability of the N95 respirator mask is another factor to consider for comfortable wearing and extended use. An N95 respirator mask is safe until it is contaminated with pathogens and stored properly after use.

Should You Reuse N95 Respirator Masks?

Reusing N95 respirator masks is a common practice by health care workers during the pandemic to conserve masks for future. The uncertain situation allows wearers to store N95 respirators properly for limited reuse. However, reusing the same mask may cause a decrease in filtration efficiency and breathability to some extent along with a poorer structure. It is better to reevaluate a face mask before reusing it for safety purpose.