Evaluation of Microwave Steam Bags for the Decontamination of Filtering Facepiece Respirators

Personal Authors: Fisher, Edward M. ; Williams, Jessica L. ; Shaffer, Ronald E.
Published Date: Apr 15 2011
Document Type: Journal Article
File Type:

Source:
PLoS One. 6(4).
Keywords: [+]

Description:
Reusing filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) has been suggested as a strategy to conserve available supplies for home and healthcare environments during an influenza pandemic. For reuse to be possible, used FFRs must be decontaminated before redonning to reduce the risk of virus transmission; however, there are no approved methods for FFR decontamination. An effective method must reduce the microbial threat, maintain the function of the FFR, and present no residual chemical hazard. The method should be readily available, inexpensive and easily implemented by healthcare workers and the general public. Many of the general decontamination protocols used in healthcare and home settings are unable to address all of the desired qualities of an efficient FFR decontamination protocol. The goal of this study is to evaluate the use of two commercially available steam bags, marketed to the public for disinfecting infant feeding equipment, for FFR decontamination. The FFRs were decontaminated with microwave generated steam following the manufacturers' instructions then evaluated for water absorption and filtration efficiency for up to three steam exposures. Water absorption of the FFR was found to be model specific as FFRs constructed with hydrophilic materials absorbed more water. The steam had little effect on FFR performance as filtration efficiency of the treated FFRs remained above 95%. The decontamination efficacy of the steam bag was assessed using bacteriophage MS2 as a surrogate for a pathogenic virus. The tested steam bags were found to be 99.9% effective for inactivating MS2 on FFRs; however, more research is required to determine the effectiveness against respiratory pathogens.

Downloadable Supporting Files:
text/plain
image/gif
image/jpeg
image/gif
image/jpeg
image/gif
image/jpeg
text/plain
image/gif
image/jpeg
image/gif
image/jpeg
image/gif
image/jpeg

Version 2.2.1
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO