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

IANS

Rihanna was summoned from her seat to accept the honour, with the Prime Minister.

Singer Rihanna was honoured by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at an event which marked Barbados's new status as a republic, which was attended by Prince Charles. Addressing the pop star by her real name, the PM said: "Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning shall have conferred upon her the order of national hero of Barbados."

Rihanna was then summoned from her seat to accept the honor, with the Prime Minister managing to rouse a laugh from the singer when she referenced her 2012 hit 'Diamonds', reports femalefirst.co.uk. She added: "On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you, the designee, for the national hero of Barbados." "And to accept on behalf of a grateful nation - you can come my dear - ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty, may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation." Rihanna, who was born in the St Michael parish of Barbados, found fame in 2005 after being spotted by a record producer and has since gone on to become one of the most successful female artists of all time with sales of over 250 million and recently reached billionaire status through her Fenty beauty brand.

The Prime Minister continued in her speech: "Commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth. "Having satisfied that, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attaining of the highest excellence to the Government of Barbados." It comes after a historic move for Barbados, which has become a republic after almost 400 years and welcomes its first president, Sandra Mason, after removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. (IANS/ MBI)


Keep Reading Show less
Pxhere

It's that time of the year when there are festivities galore and entertaining comes to the fore.

By Manav Bhatia

It's that time of the year when there are festivities galore and entertaining comes to the fore. Manav Bhatia, Founder Trunkin shares some tablescapes for the season

Christmas Tablescapes: Whether it's cherry red tablecloths or plush green napkin rings, there's something for everyone. Red and green are synonymous with colour themes this time of year.

red and white candles on white ceramic vase Red and green are synonymous with colour themes this time of year. | Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
VOA

Typically, Glaucoma occurs in people with over the age of 60 however it can occur at any age.

By IANSlife

Have you ever faced eye redness? Or have witnessed blurry or foggy vision? Or experiencing halos around lights? Or nausea and vomiting are very common for you. You may well be suffering from Glaucoma which needs immediate attention.

Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). Typically, it occurs in people with over the age of 60 however it can occur at any age. It is also estimated that globally 79.6 million people are affected with glaucoma, half of them being Asian population. While in India, around 11.9 million people suffer vision impairment and out of which 1.2 million cases are due to Glaucoma. It is a growing concern for the population in India. Even after these high numbers, the enormous majority remains undiagnosed, and untreated. More than 90 percent of cases of Glaucoma remain undiagnosed.

Pink eye Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). | Wikimedia Commons

Keep reading... Show less