Coronavirus Outbreak is Giving Birth to New Waste-free Approach

By: | April 22nd, 2020

Image by Circ OD from Pixabay

Surgical masks are a one-time use product. However, since the coronavirus outbreak, there is a significant shortage in the supply of masks. So, doctors in Nebraska are attempting an experiment, which will help them in dealing with the shortage.

They are making a machine that will use ultraviolet light to treat medical supplies so that the doctors can reuse the masks.

If you talk about the N95 surgical masks, they have approval for onetime use, but the shortage is so severe that medical officials are experimenting with prolonged use up to a week long.

When the hospital administration was making this decision, they were fully aware that the technique violates regulations from the disease control and prevention centers.

On the other hand, Duke University of North Carolina is also offering its services, and claim that they have come up with a solution. They propose that the medical facilities should use specialized equipment that will vaporize the masks with hydrogen peroxide. This process will kill germs and viruses in all layers of the masks. Moreover, and it will also not degrade the mask’s material, which is a significant plus point.

The Associate Director of Duke regional Biocontainment laboratory, Scott Alderman, says that they have been using this technique in their biocontainment laboratory for years now. They even use this technique in three of their hospitals as well.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic, many hospitals are moving towards decontaminating and reusing surgical and N95 masks. Many experts say if there are no masks in the first place, the medical officials will find other ways to filter respiration, which wouldn’t be approved.


No medical expert thinks that reusing medical equipment is ideal. Still, in this time of need, the officials have no other option but to reuse and to decontaminate the surgical masks even if it raises legal liability issues.


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