Can we reuse an N95 mask? 


                    Can we reuse an N95 mask? 

What is the reason to recommend an N95 mask amidst N number of varieties available in the market? Can we reuse an N95 mask? 

N95 is a medical mask that meets the N95 NIOSH air filtration rating and has a protection factor of 95%. They filter out everything but 5% of the dust and mold in the air.  The letter “N” in N95 stands for “Not resistant to oil.” So, N95 masks should be avoided if oil aerosols are present as oil damages the filter. 

Source: SAGES                                                    

How to properly dispose of the N95 mask? 

As masks are a kind of medical waste, it is important to dispose of them correctly. And considering the survival rate of various viruses, they can survive on used masks for different periods. So, when left exposed, the virus can survive between few hours to few days. 

  1. Avoid touching the inside part of the respirator and instead, hold the ending of the straps to remove the mask.
  2. Wash your hands without fail before and after removing the mask.
  3. Please place them in a breathable container between uses or throw them in the garbage by zip-locking in a plastic bag. 

Can we re-use an N95 mask? 

Certain points should be considered to re-use N95 masks amid medical concerns or a shortage of productivity.

Source: Los Angeles Times
  1. Dispose of the mask if contaminated with any nasal secretions, blood, or bodily fluids. 
  2. Keep the mask in the dry atmosphere for 3-4 days to dry it out and reuse. 
  3. The best is to use multiple masks and rotate the cycle by letting them dry for 3-4days. 
  4. The N95 mask can be used for 8 hours of continuous or intermittent use as per the features.
  5. Avoid washing and sterilize by hanging them in the oven without getting in contact with metal. 


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