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I have a safety-related question regarding disposable surgical masks. I am hoping that someone in the group might have some insight into my query.
Our laboratory has done some very preliminary off-gassing analysis for a particular brand of disposable surgical mask and we have generated some interesting results. In order to better plan some more definitive testing, I attempted to search the literature to learn more about the analysis of masks for inhalable components. The only references I was able to find were either oriented toward the analysis of residual compounds following disinfection procedures (such as ethylene oxide, to give an example), or involved skin irritation (formaldehyde). I did not find anything which studied possible inhalation of volatile components which might be present in masks as part of the manufacturing process.
While I am not a safety professional (I work in the area of analytical chemistry), it seemed to me very odd not to find anything on this topic (possibly my searching was not sufficiently thorough?). Is anyone in this group aware of any testing (or even a concern) around the potential inhalation of volatile compounds from a surgical mask which is being worn for most of the day?
I would be most grateful for any responses, thank you!
Del A. Koch
Inovatia Laboratories, LLC
120 East Davis Street | P.O. Box 30 | Fayette, MO 65248-0030
p: 660-248-1911 | f: 660-248-1921
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