American Journal of Infection Control
American Journal of Infection Control

The research article 'Pretreated household materials carry similar filtration protection against pathogens when compared with surgical masks' has been published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Abstract

The past 4 months, the emergence and spread of novel 2019 SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19) has led to a global pandemic which is rapidly depleting supplies of personal protective equipment worldwide. There are currently over 1.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide which has resulted in more the 100,000 deaths. As these numbers grow daily, hospitals are being forced to reuse surgical masks in hopes of conserving their dwindling supply. Since COVID-19 will most likely have effects that last for many months, our nationwide shortage of masks poses a long term issue that must be addressed immediately. Based on a previous study by Quan et al., a salt-based soaking strategy has been reported to enhance the filtration ability of surgical masks. We propose a similar soaking process which uses materials widely available in anyone's household. We tested this method of pretreating a variety of materials with a salt-based solution by a droplet test using fluorescently stained nanoparticles similar in size to the COVID-19 virus. Our results show that this filter significantly reduces the amount of penetration of these particles. This will allow for healthcare workers to create a disposable added layer of protection to their surgical masks, N95s, or homemade masks by using household available products.

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