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Collection Efficiency Comparison of N95 Respirators Saturated with Artificial Perspiration

Authors
  • Larson, Diana L.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Chemical Health & Safety
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
Sep 15, 2020
Volume
27
Issue
5
Pages
299–307
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chas.0c00054
PMCID: PMC7507585
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, current high demand for N95 filtering facepiece respirators has placed them in short supply. Filtering facepiece respirator wearers have traditionally been instructed to discard their respirator and don a new one should the respirator become saturated with perspiration or damp from exhaled breath. However, today’s shortage may prohibit many N95 respirator wearers from replacing their filtering facepieces at this desired frequency. Previously unpublished research that evaluated the performance of N95 filtering facepiece respirators saturated with artificial perspiration and then dried out can help provide insight into making critical decisions about the change out frequency of N95 respirators that become damp with use. This study concluded that the collection efficiency of filtering facepiece respirators, containing electrostatic filter media, remained statistically unchanged or slightly improved after being dried out following harsh saturation conditions with artificial perspiration. Therefore, respirator wearers can continue to rely on their N95 filtering facepiece respirators to perform as intended.

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