Decontamination of SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses from N95 level meltblown polypropylene fabric using heat under different humidities

Rafael K. Campos, Jing Jin, Grace H. Rafael, Mervin Zhao, Lei Liao, Graham Simmons, Steven Chu, Scott C. Weaver, Wah Chiu, Yi Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In March of 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The pandemic led to a shortage of N95-grade filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), especially for protection of healthcare professionals against airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We and others have previously reported promising decontamination methods that may be applied to the recycling and reuse of FFRs. In this study we tested disinfection of three viruses including SARS-CoV-2, dried on a piece of meltblown fabric, the principal component responsible for filtering of fine particles in N95-level FFRs, under a range of temperatures (60-95̊C) at ambient or 100% relative humidity (RH) in conjunction with filtration efficiency testing. We found that heat treatments of 75̊C for 30 min or 85̊C for 20 min at 100% RH resulted in efficient decontamination from the fabric of SARS-CoV-2, human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63), and another enveloped RNA virus, chikungunya virus vaccine strain 181 (CHIKV-181), without lowering the meltblown fabric’s filtration efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 14 2020

Keywords

  • Aerosol
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Decontamination
  • Humidity
  • N95
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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