NIOSH is about to come out with new guidance on disinfection and reuse. As I understand it, the Battelle system will get high marks. And one expedient is to
put a used N95 in a paper bag for five days before reusing it, since there's pretty fair evidence that the virus will be sufficiently degraded in 2-3 days. We've been urging them to say in the guidance that these are stopgap measures, not as protective as
getting a new respirator after every use, and only to be used in a supply crisis.
These are excruciating problems. We're talking to health care workers every day who are short of not just respirators, but gowns, face shields, booties, gloves.
And for their patients the projected shortages aren't just beds and ventilators but, in one case, IV tubing. There's enough blame to go around, but some of it falls on hospital administrators, who take pride in running a hospital "like a business," and think
an MBA outweighs a MPH or MD. And that's equally true for the "nonprofit" hospitals. Just-in-time supply works well in an auto plant. Not in a hospital; not in a pandemic.
Michael J. Wright
Director of Health, Safety and Environment
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU]
On Behalf Of jeskiekb**At_Symbol_Here**comcast.net
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2020 2:47 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] N-95 disinfection and reuse
I haven't had time to read through the full set of emails on this, so sorry if this is a repeat. Battelle has some basic information on the system on the website.
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Well, thank you Jack and Stanford. Finally a nice clear presentation on these issues stating what we all probably knew deep in our
Research Safety Specialist
Environmental Health & Safety
484 Oak Road, Stanford, CA, 94305
On 25 March the Stanford School of Medicine published a nice Q&A on the shortage of face masks and N-95 respirators. See
On pages 5-6 there is a good discussion of the various methods that can be used to disinfect N-95s, including a helpful table and references. One refence shows
that hot water vapor from boiling water for ten minutes is an effective decontamination method.
At Yale, we plan to use vaporized hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate and reuse N-95s using the methods described here:
Director, Yale Office of Environmental Health and Safety