Viscusi, D.J., et al (2007 & 2009) evaluated various decontamination methods recommended not to use these methods due to substantial filter degradation to both FFRs and particle penetration levels.[13,19]
- Autoclave/Dry heat: Temperature higher than 80 C will likely affect filter performance.
- IPA/Soap: Degrade electret filter performance due to removing a surface charge
Viscusi et al. (2007 & 2009) measured the filtration performance of FFRs submerged into bleach (0.525%, 5.25%, and 0.6% sodium hypochlorite) and noted some degradation of filter performance but not below acceptable levels, but residual bleach odors and chlorine off-gassing were observed even after overnight air-drying. They mentioned residual bleach remaining on FFRs is of concern given its known health effects.[13,19]
Heimbuch et al. (2014) evaluated biological decontamination efficacy and filtration penetration of surgical N95 FFRs cleaned with hypochlorite, benzalkonium chloride, or nonantimicrobial wipes. The results showed the particle penetration following cleaning yielded mean values <5%. The highest penetrations were observed in FFRs cleaned with BAC wipes, however, filter penetration following various decontamination methods was shown to vary based on the decontamination method and the model of FFR.
EtO is not recommended as a decontamination method as EtO is carcinogenic and teratogenic, even though many pieces of research show EtO decontamination did not show any significant filtration performance degradation.[10,11,13,19] Chronic inhalation of EtO has been linked to neurologic dysfunction and may cause other harmful effects to the wearer. EtO should be used in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 29 CFR 1910.1047.