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Article

Disinfection Treatments of Disposable Respirators Influencing the Bactericidal/Bacteria Removal Efficiency, Filtration Performance, and Structural Integrity

1
Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
2
Reliability Assessment Center, FITI Testing & Research Institute, Seoul 07791, Korea
3
Research Institute of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2021, 13(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13010045
Received: 10 December 2020 / Revised: 19 December 2020 / Accepted: 21 December 2020 / Published: 24 December 2020
In the outbreak of COVID-19, the extended wear of single-use, disposable respirators was inevitable due to limited supplies. As a respirator is front-line protection against particulate matter, including bioaerosol and droplets, a comprehensive understanding for the reuse strategy is needed. In this study, eight different disinfection methods commonly applied for the reuse of respirators were compared for their influence on the filtration and bactericidal/bacteria removal performance, with in-depth discussion on the cause of effects. Treatments including oven-dry, ultraviolet irradiation (UV), microwaving, laundering with and without detergent, and immersion in hypochlorite, isopropanol, and ethanol were performed to respirators. Immersion in ethanol or isopropanol was effective for inactivation and removal of bacteria, yet such a treatment significantly deteriorated the filtration efficiency in about 20–28%, dissipating the surface charges. Laundering, while effective in removing the attached bacteria, triggered physical damage, leading to a possible reduction of filtration performance. A short-term oven-dry, UV irradiation, and microwaving mostly preserved the filtration performance, yet the drawback lied in the incomplete bactericidal efficiency. This study would contribute to the public health and safety by providing scientific background on the effect of disinfection treatment methods for respirators. View Full-Text
Keywords: respirator; reuse; public health; filtration; electrostatic; mechanical; antimicrobial respirator; reuse; public health; filtration; electrostatic; mechanical; antimicrobial
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jung, S.; Hemmatian, T.; Song, E.; Lee, K.; Seo, D.; Yi, J.; Kim, J. Disinfection Treatments of Disposable Respirators Influencing the Bactericidal/Bacteria Removal Efficiency, Filtration Performance, and Structural Integrity. Polymers 2021, 13, 45. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13010045

AMA Style

Jung S, Hemmatian T, Song E, Lee K, Seo D, Yi J, Kim J. Disinfection Treatments of Disposable Respirators Influencing the Bactericidal/Bacteria Removal Efficiency, Filtration Performance, and Structural Integrity. Polymers. 2021; 13(1):45. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13010045

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jung, Seojin, Tahmineh Hemmatian, Eugene Song, Kyeongeun Lee, Dongwan Seo, Jehyung Yi, and Jooyoun Kim. 2021. "Disinfection Treatments of Disposable Respirators Influencing the Bactericidal/Bacteria Removal Efficiency, Filtration Performance, and Structural Integrity" Polymers 13, no. 1: 45. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13010045

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