Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation of influenza-contaminated N95 filtering facepiece respirators

Item Type:

Publication

Title

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation of influenza-contaminated N95 filtering facepiece respirators

Description

Safe and effective decontamination and reuse of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) has the potential to significantly extend FFR holdings, mitigating a potential shortage due to an influenza pandemic or other pandemic events.

Date Last Updated (Year-Month-Day)

2018-04-17

Citation

Mills, Devin, Delbert A. Harnish, Caryn Lawrence, Megan Sandoval-Powers, and Brian K. Heimbuch. 2018. "Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation of influenza-contaminated N95 filtering facepiece respirators." American journal of infection control 46 (7):e49-e55.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Safe and effective decontamination and reuse of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) has the potential to significantly extend FFR holdings, mitigating a potential shortage due to an influenza pandemic or other pandemic events. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) has been shown to be effective for decontaminating influenza-contaminated FFRs. This study aims to build on past research by evaluating the UVGI decontamination efficiency of influenza-contaminated FFRs in the presence of soiling agents using an optimized UVGI dose.

METHODS:

Twelve samples each of 15 N95 FFR models were contaminated with H1N1 influenza (facepiece and strap), then covered with a soiling agent-artificial saliva or artificial skin oil. For each soiling agent, 3 contaminated FFRs were treated with 1 J/cm2 UVGI for approximately 1 minute, whereas 3 other contaminated FFRs remained untreated. All contaminated surfaces were cut out and virus extracted. Viable influenza was quantified using a median tissue culture infectious dose assay.

RESULTS:

Significant reductions (≥3 log) in influenza viability for both soiling conditions were observed on facepieces from 12 of 15 FFR models and straps from 7 of 15 FFR models.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest that FFR decontamination and reuse using UVGI can be effective. Implementation of a UVGI method will require careful consideration of FFR model, material type, and design.

KEYWORDS:

Decontamination; Disinfection; Reuse; Soiling; UVGI; Ultraviolet

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