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New Masks that may help control airborne

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Newbie1A View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 07 2020 at 4:36pm
NEWS
02/06/2020 09:05 EST | Updated 02/06/2020 10:30 EST
Alberta Scientists Pioneer Mask That Kills Viruses In Mere Minutes
And they’re confident the face mask will work on the coronavirus.

By Samantha Beattie

Mitacs/Supplied
University of Alberta Prof. Hyo-Jick Choi and Mitacs researcher Ilaria Rubino.
Canadian researchers are putting the finishing touches on a face mask that will destroy, not spread, at least three different flu viruses.

The new and improved surgical masks, and first of their kind in the world, will very likely work on the coronavirus, said biomedical engineer Prof. Hyo-Jick Choi at the University of Alberta.
The masks are expected to be on the market as early as 2021.
His lab hasn’t tested the coronavirus yet because it’s difficult to get a hold of, but the masks have decimated comparably “hard and big and strong pathogens,” Choi told HuffPost Canada.
The special ingredient? Salt.
Choi’s team has developed a sodium chloride coating for both surgical masks and more heavy-duty N95 face masks.

HuffPost/Getty Creative
N95 masks, left, and paper surgical masks. Prof. Choi has developed a salt coating that can be applied to both types to destoroy viruses.
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, liquid droplets carrying the virus spray into the air (ew, cover your mouth). Conventional surgical masks only protect the wearer from large droplets. The problem is that viruses, like the coronavirus, also travel through tiny aerosols that can leak through the mask, infecting you.
N95 masks are better at protecting against aerosols, but they’re hard to breathe through and more expensive.
A virus can live on a mask for up to a week, the researchers say. And if a mask is not handled carefully — say you touch the mask itself, wear it for way too long, put it in your pocket, or don’t wash your hands after — the virus can be passed on to someone else.
That’s where the salt coating comes in, Choi said. When droplets of any size land on a coated mask, the salt dissolves in the liquid and begins to evaporate, forming sharp-edged crystals.
“The crystal pokes through the virus particles and completely destroys it,” said Choi.
Watch: A timeline of Canada’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases. Story continues below.


The coronavirus, originating in Wuhan, China, has captured the world’s attention in recent weeks. As of Wednesday, there were 24,554 confirmed cases globally and a total of nearly 500 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. There are five confirmed cases in Canada.
Choi started developing the mask about five years ago, when he noticed other researchers were focused mainly on vaccinations. He said when it came to the mask, a major challenge was finding a way to kill the virus quickly, as humans have a tendency to touch their face, and potentially the virus, every four minutes.
The salt-coated masks render the virus inactive within five minutes, and completely destroyed in 30 minutes, Choi said.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/coronavirus-face-mask-alberta-scientists_ca_5e3c1544c5b6bb0ffc0c2ecd
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BabyCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2020 at 5:02pm
Makes sense.

Why not make your own salt water spray, use a little spray bottle, spray the masks (the outside layer), let them dry, and voila! Same idea?

I already purchased a UV-C (have to be cautious as these lights can damage skin and eyes easily) sanitizing box (they had been made for things like makeup brushes, etc. and was about $60 on Amazon) to be able to re-use masks if necessary. 8 minutes, poof, can re-use mask. Haven't actually tested to see if the UV-C disinfecting actually kills virus and bacteria though. So, have to trust it's working. Theory is correct, though. Hospitals use UV to sanitize all the time. In fact, the "safer" UV, the far UV-C (about 222 nm it seems) is being touted as a safe (not dangerous wavelength to skin and eyes like others are) for hospital settings, clean room, and germaphobes. In fact, due to possible shortages, I imagine the government will be doing testing of this sort in order to extend mask stocks and use/timelines guidance.

I think it'd be easy to test this idea in a qualified and authorized lab. Grab a mask, cut a piece, spray with agar, see if bacteria/virus grow (or just put some there safely), verify under microscope they're alive, zap with UV, then see if they bateria/virus are dead.

In the case of salt, same process, treat a patch of N95 or surgical mask, smear with mold or something, wait a while, see if they're still alive.

Or, just hang the mask in direct sunlight for 48 hours.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiminNM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2020 at 5:44pm
Originally posted by BabyCat BabyCat wrote:

Makes sense.

Why not make your own salt water spray, use a little spray bottle, spray the masks (the outside layer), let them dry, and voila! Same idea?

I already purchased a UV-C (have to be cautious as these lights can damage skin and eyes easily) sanitizing box (they had been made for things like makeup brushes, etc. and was about $60 on Amazon) to be able to re-use masks if necessary. 8 minutes, poof, can re-use mask. Haven't actually tested to see if the UV-C disinfecting actually kills virus and bacteria though. So, have to trust it's working. Theory is correct, though. Hospitals use UV to sanitize all the time. In fact, the "safer" UV, the far UV-C (about 222 nm it seems) is being touted as a safe (not dangerous wavelength to skin and eyes like others are) for hospital settings, clean room, and germaphobes. In fact, due to possible shortages, I imagine the government will be doing testing of this sort in order to extend mask stocks and use/timelines guidance.

I think it'd be easy to test this idea in a qualified and authorized lab. Grab a mask, cut a piece, spray with agar, see if bacteria/virus grow (or just put some there safely), verify under microscope they're alive, zap with UV, then see if they bateria/virus are dead.

In the case of salt, same process, treat a patch of N95 or surgical mask, smear with mold or something, wait a while, see if they're still alive.

Or, just hang the mask in direct sunlight for 48 hours.


Ah, Thank you!!! I have a UV light box for my phone and smaller items, didn't even occur to me the masks would fit inside! Surgical mask no problem, the N95 has to be bent a bit so it's not ideal. Testing a used one now to see if I can bend it back into shape. If so, I might even be able to re-sterilize an N-100. I only have a couple, so that would be wonderful.

I do have some folded N95 masks and those should fit perfectly, so this will definitely help me out.    

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BabyCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2020 at 6:18pm
You're welcome. I have a creative, inventive mind. But keep in mind I am not a scientist, this is the internet, and I am suggesting a hypothetical use that should be validated and tested for safety first by people who actually know what they are doing (I do not).

So, upshot is, I don't recommend doing it as, those warning always say, unless labs can prove it's safe to do (perhaps bacteria/virus inside could still stay alive)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiminNM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2020 at 6:58pm
Originally posted by BabyCat BabyCat wrote:

You're welcome. I have a creative, inventive mind. But keep in mind I am not a scientist, this is the internet, and I am suggesting a hypothetical use that should be validated and tested for safety first by people who actually know what they are doing (I do not).

So, upshot is, I don't recommend doing it as, those warning always say, unless labs can prove it's safe to do (perhaps bacteria/virus inside could still stay alive)


I'd do it as the last stage and last resort - first putting used masks into a container of some sort, maybe in the sun?, letting them sit for 14-28 days or whatever number they finally come up with. Earlier posts talked about spraying them with vinegar, so maybe that. Or whatever else seems to be the best way.

Just makes sense to not throw them out while there is a shortage. And as a last step it certainly couldn't hurt.

(I use them regularly when there is smoke in the air, or when allergies are really bad, so even if I let them sit for 6 months then use them for a non-viral purpose that'd be helpful)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2020 at 4:33am
I expect the trick is to form minute crystals of the substance in a dry mask.

Vinegar. citric acid, salt all do this and will then kill viruses that land on them.

BUT THE MASK MUST BE DRY BEFORE USE.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence. & Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BabyCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2020 at 11:08am
Yes, the antiviral masks sold at places like Target have a layer of citric acid on them. Packed with dessicant to ensure dryness. Could squeeze orange juice, then allow to dry.
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Lemon is better, but you can buy food grade citric acid.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence. & Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BabyCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2020 at 9:28am

Originally posted by BabyCat BabyCat wrote:

Makes sense.


Why not make your own salt water spray, use a little spray bottle, spray the masks (the outside layer), let them dry, and voila! Same idea?


I already purchased a UV-C (have to be cautious as these lights can damage skin and eyes easily) sanitizing box (they had been made for things like makeup brushes, etc. and was about $60 on Amazon) to be able to re-use masks if necessary. 8 minutes, poof, can re-use mask. Haven't actually tested to see if the UV-C disinfecting actually kills virus and bacteria though. So, have to trust it's working. Theory is correct, though. Hospitals use UV to sanitize all the time. In fact, the "safer" UV, the far UV-C (about 222 nm it seems) is being touted as a safe (not dangerous wavelength to skin and eyes like others are) for hospital settings, clean room, and germaphobes. In fact, due to possible shortages, I imagine the government will be doing testing of this sort in order to extend mask stocks and use/timelines guidance.


I think it'd be easy to test this idea in a qualified and authorized lab. Grab a mask, cut a piece, spray with agar, see if bacteria/virus grow (or just put some there safely), verify under microscope they're alive, zap with UV, then see if they bateria/virus are dead.


In the case of salt, same process, treat a patch of N95 or surgical mask, smear with mold or something, wait a while, see if they're still alive.


Or, just hang the mask in direct sunlight for 48 hours.

Sadly, I feel like I'm in a time machine: I posted the above Feb.7. Among the first, if not the first, I believe.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/health/coronavirus-masks-reuse.html#click=https://t.co/DPuN57zZ8A

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BabyCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2020 at 9:31am

UV light being used to reuse respirators.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BabyCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2020 at 9:36am

I'm shocked and saddened it's come this far. Why does no one seem to pay attention to the warnings and science??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiminNM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2020 at 10:46am

Originally posted by BabyCat BabyCat wrote:

I'm shocked and saddened it's come this far. Why does no one seem to pay attention to the warnings and science??

I don't know. It's frustrating as heck.  I just keep hearing the ending of every one of Chris Martenson's videos - it didn't have to be this way.    

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiminNM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2020 at 10:53am

Here's the text of the article linked above. But first, a question: when we were all talking about this over a month ago, wasn't the CDC doing research to figure out the best way to extend mask usage? If that was true, they should have been shouting solutions from the rooftops by now.
 

Facing a dire shortage of protective face masks for health care workers, administrators at the University of Nebraska Medical Center decided they had no choice.

Masks are certified for one-time use only. But on Thursday, the center began an experimental procedure to decontaminate its masks with ultraviolet light and reuse them. Administrators plan to use each mask for a week or longer.

To the knowledge of the program’s administrators, the medical center is the first to disinfect and reuse masks.

“We have talked with a lot of others around the country who are going after a similar approach,” said John Lowe, the medical center’s assistant vice chancellor for health security training and education, who designed the program.

When administrators made the decision, they knew the procedure violated regulations promulgated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said that if masks were decontaminated they could no longer be certified for use.

But late Thursday night, the agency issued new guidance, saying that “as a last resort, it may be necessary” for hospitals to use masks that were not approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

That change would seem to mean it is now acceptable for hospitals to decontaminate and reuse masks during the coronavirus pandemic, said Shawn Gibbs, a professor of environmental health at Indiana University.

If that were not the case, he added, then many hospitals would find themselves in a tightening bind as gear shortages spread: “What is preferred — not using respirator protection equipment, or using a decontaminated respirator whose certification is voided?”

No one thinks reuse of face masks is ideal, and the practice may raise legal liability issues. But there seemed to be little choice.

 “We are making the best of bad choices,” said Dr. Mark Rupp, the medical center’s chief of infectious diseases.

He feels confident that the masks will still protect health care workers. “The data is very clear that you can kill and inactivate viruses with UV germicidal irradiation,” he said. “It is also very clear that you will not damage the respirators.”

The alternative, Dr. Lowe said, would be to ask health care workers to carefully store their masks and reuse them without cleaning them. Handling a mask repeatedly also increases the chances that it will be contaminated.

“Health care workers are very apprehensive about that,” he said. 

 

 

But the studies were small, and scientific interest in decontamination has been sporadic and fleetingContinue reading the main stor

“People get interested around the time of a SARS epidemic or an H1N1 flu epidemic, and then they forget,” said Dr. Lynn Goldman, dean of George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.

“When you have an epidemic, it’s very cool,” she added. “When you don’t have an epidemic, it’s not cool.”

“If you are talking about cures, you can get very large grants” to study decontamination, Dr. Goldman added. “But if you are doing studies on prevention and protection, it’s very hard. It’s not clear whose job in the federal government it is to fund it.”

UV light was the Nebraska hospital’s choice because it is effective and convenient. Hospitals already use UV light to decontaminate rooms after patients with dangerous infections, like C. difficile, are moved.

The medical center also used UV light to disinfect rooms when it was treating Ebola patients a few years ago. Patients were sent there because the center has a sophisticated biocontainment area.

“We bring in large UV lamps, hit ‘start’ and leave the room,” Dr. Lowe said. “We let it shine for three to five minutes. It disinfects anywhere it can shine.”

As for N95 masks, the kind used by health care workers, “there are really good data that it can decontaminate and that it doesn’t degrade the masks a significant amount,” Dr. Lowe said.

 

But, he added, “we inspect the masks before every use.” And the protocol Dr. Lowe designed uses three times the concentration of UV light needed to kill coronaviruses.

Masks conform somewhat to the health care worker’s face, and a tight seal is necessary. So each health care worker’s mask is returned to its user after decontamination.

Health care workers write their names on their masks before they first use them. After they remove the masks for decontamination, they are placed in brown bags labeled with their names.

The bags are transported to a special room covered in a beige paint that reflects UV light. After the masks are treated, each one goes into a white bag with the health care worker’s name on it.

The procedure is experimental, and there are uncertainties.

For instance: How many times can a mask be reused? For now, staff members will use each mask for a week before disposing of it. But the medical center may decide to keep using the masks for 10 days, or even two weeks, Dr. Rupp said.

“Hopefully, that will at least buy us enough time to offer protection through this epidemic,” he added.

He knows there may be risks, but he believes the medical center has made the right choice.

“I sleep very well,” he said. “If we get sued, I still think we are doing the right thing.”

 

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