Evaluation of ultraviolet-C decontamination of medical masks during the COVID‑19 crisis

Wong, Alex | $50,000

Ontario Carleton University 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical for ensuring the safety of nurses, doctors, and other frontline workers during the COVID‑19 pandemic. Unfortunately, PPE supply chains are stretched, with a notable shortage of N95 masks for healthcare workers. Recently, decontamination of used PPE has emerged as a promising strategy for maintaining the supply of medical masks. Instead of treating masks as single-use items, decontaminated masks can be used repeatedly, potentially providing a substantial reduction in demand for new masks. Ultraviolet irradiation is a promising approach for decontamination due to its portability and scalability, particularly for small and/or remote hospitals. We will define the doses and wavelengths of ultraviolet light that are suitable for mask decontamination. This knowledge will provide guidance for development of decontamination devices by industry, and for the development guidelines by policy makers.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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