Friday, March 27, 2020

Professor Bill Anderson from the Department of Chemical Engineering is applying his expertise with UV-C disinfection to tackle a timely and potentially life-threatening problem: the shortage of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) that protect users from particles and aerosols in the air that they breathe.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers depend on the N95 FFR to protect themselves from exposure to the respiratory virus. Normally, these facemasks are intended to be worn only once before being disposed of safely. However, supply shortages are forcing healthcare workers around the world to re-use their single-use masks.

Professor Anderson, who has done research in the area of photochemical processes for almost thirty years, has conducted a review of the published literature demonstrating reasonable disinfection success with UV applied to N95 FFRs. UV-C disinfection may provide a simple, viable method of mask disinfection, which may enable safer re-use of N95 masks.

Professor Anderson has offered to consult pro bono with healthcare institutions that are considering UV applications to deal with their mask shortages.

Read Professor Anderson’s review, titled UV Disinfection of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators: A Brief Review.

He will be speaking about UV disinfection and its key considerations in a free webinar titled N95 Respirator Disinfection for Re-use – What the Literature Says on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

To learn more, see Easing the covid-19 mask shortage in Waterloo Stories.

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