Specialists from the University of Coimbra, who worked in collaboration with CITEVE and other organizations, proved that Covid-19 masks can and should be reused. This discovery can help mitigate the environmental problem caused by the massive use of individual protective equipment.
The investigation covered three types of masks – surgical, social and the so-called KN95 or FFP2 – having tested three decontamination methods “which revealed an efficiency of practically 100%, allowing several reuse cycles”, says the University of Coimbra.
The three methods included washing the masks with a dilute sodium hypochlorite solution (the common bleach), nebulization with hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide), and sterilization with steam in a microwave.
For domestic use, the sodium hypochlorite solution and steam sterilization in a microwave are the solutions with the greatest potential. On the other hand, nebulization with hydrogen peroxide, although simple, requires the acquisition of a nebulizer and a chamber.