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Table 2 Sterilization method and effect on mask performance

From: Addressing the worldwide shortages of face masks

Method Treatment level Fitting performance Filtration performance Antimicrobial performance
Vaporous hydrogen peroxide (VHP) Usually use commercial hydrogen peroxide steam generator. Directly use VHP to treat the surface of the mask, generally 10–30 min. Passed (Fitting unaffected for up to 20 cycles) Passed Can be maintained (> 99.99%)
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation to treat the surface of the mask. 0.5–950 J/cm2 were used depending on model (90–100% can pass) Passed Can be maintained (99.9% for all tested viruses)
Microwave generated steam microwave models: 1100–1250 W 40 s treatment for 2 min 95–100% Passed Passed, even after 20 cycles Can be maintained
Microwave steam bags microwave models: 1100 W, 90 s treatment, 60 mL tap water was filled in the bags Not evaluated Passed Can be maintained
Moist heat (MH) incubation 15–30 min treatment at 60 °C Passed Passed Can be maintained
Liquid hydrogen peroxide 1 s to 30 min treatment with Liquid hydrogen peroxide concentration of 3–6% Not evaluated Passed Not evaluated
Ethylene oxide 1 h at 55 °C; conc. range: 725–833 mg/L Not evaluated Passed Not evaluated
  1. Courtesy of the CDC website [13]