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Statement Concerning UV Disinfection of Filtering Facepiece Respirators

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For over 90 years, Labconco’s mission has been to support the work of laboratory and medical professionals with critical products designed to protect against a wide variety of hazards. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an extreme shortage of filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) such as N95 masks and surgical masks used to protect against exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As these masks become contaminated, several parties are investigating disinfection methods to allow for re-use of FFRs.

One proposed method of disinfection involves exposing FFRs to UV light. In order to work effectively, UV light must come into direct contact with a contaminated surface at an intensity suitable for inactivation.

Many Labconco products contain UV-C emitting lights, which are intended for secondary disinfection of contaminated surfaces. At this time, Labconco is not aware of any validated method to decontaminate SARS-CoV-2 from FFRs with UV light. It is unclear whether UV light has the ability to effectively penetrate the filter media, elastic straps, or other components of FFRs.

Additional information on reuse of FFRs is available directly from the US CDC. 

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