Is it possible to decontaminate N95 masks in pandemic times? integrative literature review

¿Es posible descontaminar las máscaras N95 en tiempos pandémicos? revisión integrativa de la literatura

Adriana Cristina de Oliveira Thabata Coaglio Lucas About the authors



To evaluate the protocols on decontamination/reuse of N95 masks available in the literature in times of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Integrative literature review, in the period from 2010 to 2020, on the databases MEDLINE/PubMed, Science Direct, Cochrane, SAGE journals, Web of Science, Scopus, Embase and Wiley, with the descriptors Masks AND Respiratory protective devices; Mask OR N95 AND Covid-19; N95 AND Respirators; Decontamination AND N95 AND Coronavirus; Facemask OR Pandemic.


Twelve studies were included, of which 3 (30.0%) used ultraviolet germicidal irradiation and indicated mask deterioration between 2 and 10 cycles, 4 (40.0%) used hydrogen peroxide vapor, and seal loss varied from 5 to 20 cycles, 4 (33.3%) evaluated the structural integrity of the N95 mask through visual inspection and 6 (54.4%), its filtration efficiency.


Reuse strategies to overcome a shortage of devices in the face of the pandemic challenge the current concept for good practices in health-product processing.

Masks; Respiratory protective devices; Decontamination; Coronavirus; Coronavirus infections; Pandemics

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