New promising method by Maastricht University Hospital MUMC to reuse medical mouth masks
The Maastricht University Hospital MUMC + has developed a promising method with which medical mouth masks can be reused.
With plasma sterilization, the protective caps can be used a total of three times, instead of being thrown away immediately. RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands) has already approved the sterilization method. See official webpage in English here (and original Dutch here)
In plasma sterilization, the medical caps are cleaned with hydrogen peroxide at a temperature of 60 degrees in a vacuum. Micro-organisms do not survive that. Because the temperature is much lower than with normal steam sterilization, sensitive plastics or electronic parts can also be sterilized. They are usually not resistant to hot steam.
With the MUMC + method, up to 2400 face masks can be cleaned and prepared for reuse in Maastricht per day.
Note: questions remain. In the RIVM test, only one cap was tested per sterilization method, and only one type of FFP2 mouth mask. In addition, they did not test used caps. It may be that caps that have been worn lose some of their effect due to the treatment.
Since last week he has been collecting and sterilizing all masks at MUMC. New mouth masks are of course preferred, and for the time being there are enough of them at the hospital in Maastricht. The second-hand ones are therefore not yet used.
Source: NRC Nieuws 18.03.2020