Disposable masks soon to be reusable?

Published by Elodie D. · Published on 14 July 2020 at 11h32 · Updated on 15 July 2020 at 16h42
Disposable surgical masks and FFP2 masks may soon be reusable. Four French scientists say they have found an effective washing method to sterilize masks and keep their filtration properties. They still have to test this process on a big scale.

After working away for four months, they have just submitted the best process tested to the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products (ANSM) that is said to give the green light to an experimental phase. For surgical masks, the solution will go though washing at 60°C, followed by sterilization over 120°C, or irradiation. As for FFP2 masks, they shall register a patent for the process.

Scientists of the interdisciplinary consortium set up by the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the French Atomic Energy Agency (CEA), the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm), the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (Anses) and several universities and university hospitals are convinced, this solution would enable to reuse disposable facemasks while keeping their properties.

Careful though, if the process works, it should not be completed at home on your own. This process is on an industrial level, meeting the world’s need to create a facemask recycling sector who will have to collect masks, clean them, sterilize them, and re-distribute them. This alternative is to be considered in a new world where one shall beware coronavirus and avoid pollution caused by the huge amounts of facemasks thrown away in the world.

If the technical possibility exists, it still needs to change the law because the reuse of these masks is currently banned.

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