Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
N95 respirator masks can be sanitized by electric multicookers, say researchers. Pixabay

Owners of electric multicookers may be able to add another use to its list of functions, as it can sanitize N95 respirator masks, say researchers. This could enable wearers to safely reuse limited supplies of the respirator masks originally intended to be one-time-use items.

The study published in the journal ‘Environmental Science and Technology Letters’ found 50 minutes of dry heat in an electric cooker such as a rice cooker or Instant Pot, decontaminated N95 respirator masks inside and out, while maintaining their filtration and fit.


Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.

“There are many different ways to sterilize something, but most of them will destroy the filtration or the fit of an N95 respirator,” said study researcher Vishal Verma from the University of Illinois in US.


50 minutes of dry heat in an electric cooker, decontaminated N95 respirator masks inside and out. Pixabay

“Any sanitation method would need to decontaminate all surfaces of the respirator, but equally important is maintaining the filtration efficacy and the fit of the respirator to the face of the wearer. Otherwise, it will not offer the right protection,” Verma added.

The researchers hypothesised that dry heat might be a method to meet all three criteria — decontamination, filtration and fit — without requiring special preparation or leaving any chemical residue. They also wanted to find a method that would be widely accessible for people at home.

They decided to test an electric cooker, a type of device many people have in their pantries. They verified that one cooking cycle, which maintains the contents of the cooker at around 100 degree Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit for 50 minutes, decontaminated the masks, inside and out, from four different classes of the virus, including coronavirus, and did so more effectively than ultraviolet light. Then, they tested the filtration and fit.

“We built a chamber in my aerosol-testing lab specifically to look at the filtration of the N95 respirators, and measured particles going through it,” Verma said.


The researchers see the potential for the electric- cooker method to be useful for healthcare workers and first responders. Pixabay

“The respirators maintained their filtration capacity of more than 95 per cent and kept their fit, still properly seated on the wearer’s face, even after 20 cycles of decontamination in the electric cooker,” he added.

Also Read: New Method to Predict Which Babies Will Develop Diabetes

The researchers created a video demonstrating the method. They noted that the heat must be dry heat — no water added to the cooker, the temperature should be maintained at 100 degree Celsius for 50 minutes and a small towel should cover the bottom of the cooker to keep any part of the respirator from coming into direct contact with the heating element.

The researchers see the potential for the electric- cooker method to be useful for healthcare workers and first responders, especially those in smaller clinics or hospitals that do not have access to large-scale heat sanitization equipment. (IANS)


Popular

Pexels

Narakasura's death is celebrated as 'Naraka Chaturdashi' popularly known as Choti Diwali

Diwali is arguably one of the most auspicious and celebrated holidays in South Asia. It is celebrated over the span of five days, where the third is considered most important and known as Diwali. During Diwali people come together to light, lamps, and diyas, savour sweet delicacies and pray to the lord. The day has various origin stories with the main them being the victory of good over evil. While the North celebrates the return of Lord Rama and Devi Sita to Ayodhya, the South rejoices in the victory of Lord Krishna and his consort Satyabhama over evil Narakasura.

Narakasura- The great mythical demon King

Naraka or Narakasur was the son of Bhudevi (Goddess Earth) and fathered either by the Varaha incarnation of Vishnu or Hiranyaksha. He grew to be a powerful demon king and became the legendary progenitor of all three dynasties of Pragjyotisha-Kamarupa, and the founding ruler of the legendary Bhauma dynasty of Pragjyotisha.

Keep Reading Show less
Wikimedia Commons

Safety-pins with charms

For all the great inventions that we have at hand, it is amazing how we keep going back to the safety pin every single time to fix everything. Be it tears in our clothes, to fix our broken things, to clean our teeth and nails when toothpicks are unavailable, to accessorize our clothes, and of course, as an integral part of the Indian saree. Safety pins are a must-have in our homes. But how did they come about at all?

The safety pin was invented at a time when brooches existed. They were used by the Greeks and Romans quite extensively. A man named Walter Hunt picked up a piece of brass and coiled it into the safety pin we know today. He did it just to pay off his debt. He even sold the patent rights of this seemingly insignificant invention just so that his debtors would leave him alone.

Keep Reading Show less
vaniensamayalarai

Sesame oil bath is also called ennai kuliyal in Tamil

In South India, Deepavali marks the end of the monsoon and heralds the start of winter. The festival is usually observed in the weeks following heavy rain, and just before the first cold spell in the peninsula. The light and laughter that comes with the almost week-long celebration are certainly warm to the bones, but there is still a tradition that the South Indians follow to ease their transition from humidity to the cold.

Just before the main festival, the family bathes in sesame oil. This tradition is called 'yellu yennai snaana' in Kannada, or 'ennai kuliyal' in Tamil, which translates to 'sesame oil bath'. The eldest member of the family applies three drops of heated oil on each member's head. They must massage this oil into their hair and body. The oil is allowed to soak in for a while, anywhere between twenty minutes to an hour. After this, they must wash with warm water before sunrise.

Keep reading... Show less