Sequential UV-C and Thermal Decontamination for Reuse of N95 Face Masks during the COVID19 Pandemic

May 04, 2020

Our team of Infection Prevention experts have worked together to author a peer reviewed article titled 'Sequential UV-C and Thermal Decontamination for Reuse of N95 Face Masks during the COVID19 Pandemic'.


The COVID-19 global pandemic has led to widespread shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly N95 masks in healthcare facilities. N95 masks are intended to be single-use items. However, the severe shortage of such masks has necessitated their reuse over extended periods of time. There is an urgent need for methods to decontaminate such masks for reuse while keeping them intact and functional. A review of published literature suggests that N95 masks can be decontaminated by UV-C or by elevated temperature. However, neither method is definitively effective. By evaluating UV-C penetration through a specific model of an N95 mask, we found significant reduction of UV-C dosage in inner layers of the mask. Therefore, it is recommended that UV-C treatment followed by a thermal inactivation step be used for decontamination of N95 masks during a pandemic when adequate supplies of masks are not available.


Read the full article:


About the authors:

Xiaobao Li Ph.D

Xiaobao Li, Ph.D., is a Principal Scientist at Diversey. Xiaobao brings extensive experience in developing products for healthcare infection prevention; extensive research experience in applied microbiology, microbial disruptive chemistry, antibiotic susceptibility and healthcare associated infections. He is certified as a Project Management Professional and Design for Six Sigma Green Belt. Before joining Diversey, he obtained his Ph.D. in Environmental Microbiology at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). He has over 15 publications in peer reviewed journals and has presented his research at multiple international conferences.


David Buckley PhD.

David Buckley recently joined Diversey in late January 2020. He serves as the Director of Retail Food Safety for Diversey North America. David earned a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry from East Carolina University in 2011 and a doctorate in microbiology from Clemson University in 2017. David is a classically trained virologist and much of his research has focused on controlling a variety of important environmental and foodborne pathogens, such as noroviruses, Salmonella spp., E. coli O157:H7, and L. monocytogenes. He is actively involved with IAFP, GFSI, CFP, and other industry associations. At the same time, David is also a veteran and currently serves as a Captain in the North Carolina Army National Guard.


Roderick Dayton MBA, IET

Rick Dayton, MBA, IET, serves as the Infection Prevention Innovation lead at Diversey, helping to expand Diversey’s portfolio of products and services for Infection Prevention. He is the inventor of Diversey’s line of ultraviolet disinfection devices. Author of more than thirty patents crossing industry sectors, Rick’s innovations improve operational speed and efficiency while lowering costs and maximizing return on investment. Listening, clarifying and acting upon customer needs, he applies thirty years of international experience in business development and operations, engineering, physics and FDA/CGMP background to promote new product development excellence. Prior to joining Diversey, Rick spent seventeen years in radiology and anesthesia related products innovating new technologies and coordinating technical sales, engineering, global service, support and technical staff as president of a medical device innovation firm.


Dale Grinstead Ph.D

Dale Grinstead is a Microbiologist with 26 years of industrial R&D experience. Dale is a Sr. Technology Fellow in Diversey R&D. His responsibilities include providing technical input and guidance on Diversey’s food safety programs, serving on the Diversey R&D leadership team, leading the Diversey Technology Council, and participating in new product development projects. Over his time with Diversey, Dale has supported virtually all sectors of Diversey’s business. Dale joined the company as part of Unilever research where he led the team that conducted the claim support work for antimicrobial personal care products. He has also interacted extensively with the US FDA on the regulatory framework for such products. After about 5 years in Unilever Research, Dale transferred to the Diversey division of Unilever where he supported the Food and Beverage R&D program and led the North American Microbiology team. In 2005 Dale relocated to Racine where his focus was on supporting food safety programs for the retail and food service teams. Dale is active in various professional associations, most notably The International Association for Food Protection and the Conference for Food Protection. Dale received his BS and MS degrees from Iowa State University and his Ph.D. from Clemson University.


Peter Teska BS, MBA

Peter Teska, BS, MBA currently works for Diversey Inc. as the Global Infection Prevention Application Expert. In his role he leads Diversey’s external research, provides customer support on Infection Prevention issues related to environmental hygiene, writes technical literature and documents, presents at Infection Prevention events, monitors the scientific literature related to environmental hygiene, provides technical support to the portfolio teams in development of innovations, and provides training to Diversey’s employees and customers. He has worked as a supplier to the Healthcare industry for 24+ years, having worked in a range of technical and product marketing roles in his career. Teska has co-authored studies, posters and materials in a number of infection prevention events and publications globally. He has many peer reviewed publications that have appeared in the American Journal of Infection Control, Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, and NanoLife.


Larinda Becker

Larinda Becker serves as a business development professional in healthcare and infection prevention at Diversey. In this role, Larinda serves as an infection prevention and control resource and industry liaison to support the development of improvement of environmental hygiene solutions and the adoption of compatible and evidence –based practices. The efforts of Larinda support the Diversey sales and marketing teams in best practice execution for creating safer and more satisfying environments of care.