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Safety Science ; 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-779658


The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the world This shortage has resulted in an increase in production of PPE to meet the demand, and as a result, several substandard equipment has entered the market With face masks and respirators now beginning to see widespread use throughout the world, the standards and test with which they are required to undertake have become points of interest The filtration efficiency of the masks is a key testing element that examines its ability to filter particles, bacteria and viruses;this examines the penetration efficiency percentage of each with lower results being preferable Masks are also subjected to NaCl testing method, which allows a range of particle sizes to be examined and their penetration to be observed The masks must also show considerable resistance to fluids and flames, to prevent the penetration of liquids and to be non-flammable Various PPE testing protocols such as biological, chemical, fluid and flame resistances, protective ensemble, facepiece fit testing, NIOSH NaCl method and impact protection have been discussed In addition, various tests involving bacterial and viral filtration efficiencies are also discussed Differential pressure is examined to ascertain the comfort, airflow and breathability of the masks, whilst fit testing is examined to ensure a correct fit of the mask

Mater. ; 15(13)20200801.
Article in English | ELSEVIER | ID: covidwho-693566


The outbreak of COVID-19 has spread rapidly across the globe, greatly affecting how humans as a whole interact, work and go about their daily life. One of the key pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is being utilised to return to the norm is the face mask or respirator. In this review we aim to examine face masks and respirators, looking at the current materials in use and possible future innovations that will enhance their protection against SARS-CoV-2. Previous studies concluded that cotton, natural silk and chiffion could provide above 50% efficiency. In addition, it was found that cotton quilt with a highly tangled fibrous nature provides efficient filtration in the small particle size range. Novel designs by employing various filter materials such as nanofibres, silver nanoparticles, and nano-webs on the filter surfaces to induce antimicrobial properties are also discussed in detail. Modification of N95/N99 masks to provide additional filtration of air and to deactivate the pathogens using various technologies such as low-temperature plasma is reviewed. Legislative guidelines for selecting and wearing facial protection are also discussed. The feasibility of reusing these masks will be examined as well as a discussion on the modelling of mask use and the impact wearing them can have. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) models and its applications to minimise or prevent the spread of the virus using face masks and respirators is also addressed. It is concluded that a significant amount of research is required for the development of highly efficient, reusable, anti-viral and thermally regulated face masks and respirators.