Coronavirus Diary (18): N95 Masks and Ultraviolet Lamps

I confess to complete ignorance as to the science on this, so I’m just throwing the suggestion out there care of my Facebook friend Richard Saint Cyr, MD, who’s done some of the relevant leg work.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could reuse your N95 masks dozens of times, knowing it’s completely sterilized from COVID-19 and all other germs? What if first line responders could come home and sterilize all their gear overnight? Doesn’t that sound like a fantastic way to help this critical shortage of PPE? Of course! Get the Gates Foundation on this! Call Elon Musk! Oh, wait… it already exists… it’s called ultraviolet light! More commonly called UV-C sterilization or Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI, ultraviolet light in the C-band at 254 nanometers destroys DNA and RNA just enough to stop reproduction of all germs. It’s been around for over 140 years, it’s used in many industries, and hospitals across the world already use UV-C to sterilize their rooms of all germs. It can be cheap, easy to do, and quick. It’s already approved by the FDA for medical use! So… why is no one shouting from the rooftops about this? 

I don’t know, but I’m always up for shouting. Read the rest here. Continue reading