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Old 21st Apr 2020, 10:04
  #5313 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 1,860
Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Washing normally in water will pretty much destroy a normal surgical mask, and will render an N95 type mask pretty useless. Masks, like gowns, are made from moisture resistant non-woven fabric, often spun polypropylene. They can be disinfected by heating them to 65C for about 30 minutes in an oven, but care needs to be taken to ensure they don't get too hot, as that may well damage the plastic fibres.
I'm not sure there'd ever be a situation where proper surgical masks could be mandated. if they couldn't be washed, then you could easily see anyone using them properly getting through minimum 7 per week, assuming they returned to work full time and still had to go shopping at the weekend. In reality, given that masks would have to be taken on and off numerable times during the day the quantity per person, per week would be significantly greater. With every removal comes the almost inevitable spreading of infection through touching them, then touching surfaces that may or may not be "public" surfaces which may, or may not, be thoroughly cleaned using wipes that are also generally not readily available.

From what I understand those countries and states that are mandating masks at the moment are accepting home made masks, thrown together from bandannas, handkerchiefs, scarves or whatever else. Again a case of being seen to be doing something. Probably totally pointless.

If I read this posting back in 2 weeks time, of course, I may turn out to be totally wrong regarding surgical masks!!
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