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1.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580426

ABSTRACT

There is strong evidence associating the indoor environment with transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 can spread by exposure to droplets and very fine aerosol particles from respiratory fluids that are released by infected persons. Layered mitigation strategies, including but not limited to maintaining physical distancing, adequate ventilation, universal masking, avoiding overcrowding, and vaccination, have shown to be effective in reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within the indoor environment. Here, we examine the effect of mitigation strategies on reducing the risk of exposure to simulated respiratory aerosol particles within a classroom-style meeting room. To quantify exposure of uninfected individuals (Recipients), surrogate respiratory aerosol particles were generated by a breathing simulator with a headform (Source) that mimicked breath exhalations. Recipients, represented by three breathing simulators with manikin headforms, were placed in a meeting room and affixed with optical particle counters to measure 0.3-3 µm aerosol particles. Universal masking of all breathing simulators with a 3-ply cotton mask reduced aerosol exposure by 50% or more compared to scenarios with simulators unmasked. While evaluating the effect of Source placement, Recipients had the highest exposure at 0.9 m in a face-to-face orientation. Ventilation reduced exposure by approximately 5% per unit increase in air change per hour (ACH), irrespective of whether increases in ACH were by the HVAC system or portable HEPA air cleaners. The results demonstrate that mitigation strategies, such as universal masking and increasing ventilation, reduce personal exposure to respiratory aerosols within a meeting room. While universal masking remains a key component of a layered mitigation strategy of exposure reduction, increasing ventilation via system HVAC or portable HEPA air cleaners further reduces exposure.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Masks , Physical Distancing , Ventilation , Air Conditioning , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
2.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19910, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462025

ABSTRACT

Face masks are a primary preventive measure against airborne pathogens. Thus, they have become one of the keys to controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Common examples, including N95 masks, surgical masks, and face coverings, are passive devices that minimize the spread of suspended pathogens by inserting an aerosol-filtering barrier between the user's nasal and oral cavities and the environment. However, the filtering process does not adapt to changing pathogen levels or other environmental factors, which reduces its effectiveness in real-world scenarios. This paper addresses the limitations of passive masks by proposing ADAPT, a smart IoT-enabled "active mask". This wearable device contains a real-time closed-loop control system that senses airborne particles of different sizes near the mask by using an on-board particulate matter (PM) sensor. It then intelligently mitigates the threat by using mist spray, generated by a piezoelectric actuator, to load nearby aerosol particles such that they rapidly fall to the ground. The system is controlled by an on-board micro-controller unit that collects sensor data, analyzes it, and activates the mist generator as necessary. A custom smartphone application enables the user to remotely control the device and also receive real-time alerts related to recharging, refilling, and/or decontamination of the mask before reuse. Experimental results on a working prototype confirm that aerosol clouds rapidly fall to the ground when the mask is activated, thus significantly reducing PM counts near the user. Also, usage of the mask significantly increases local relative humidity levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Masks , Particulate Matter/isolation & purification , Respiratory Protective Devices , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aerosols/isolation & purification , Air Microbiology , Equipment Design , Filtration/instrumentation , Humans , Mobile Applications , Particle Size , Smart Materials/chemistry , Smartphone
3.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258191, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456093

ABSTRACT

Face coverings are a key component of preventive health measure strategies to mitigate the spread of respiratory illnesses. In this study five groups of masks were investigated that are of particular relevance to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: re-usable, fabric two-layer and multi-layer masks, disposable procedure/surgical masks, KN95 and N95 filtering facepiece respirators. Experimental work focussed on the particle penetration through mask materials as a function of particle diameter, and the total inward leakage protection performance of the mask system. Geometric mean fabric protection factors varied from 1.78 to 144.5 for the fabric two-layer and KN95 materials, corresponding to overall filtration efficiencies of 43.8% and 99.3% using a flow rate of 17 L/min, equivalent to a breathing expiration rate for a person in a sedentary or standing position conversing with another individual. Geometric mean total inward leakage protection factors for the 2-layer, multi-layer and procedure masks were <2.3, while 6.2 was achieved for the KN95 masks. The highest values were measured for the N95 group at 165.7. Mask performance is dominated by face seal leakage. Despite the additional filtering layers added to cloth masks, and the higher filtration efficiency of the materials used in disposable procedure and KN95 masks, the total inward leakage protection factor was only marginally improved. N95 FFRs were the only mask group investigated that provided not only high filtration efficiency but high total inward leakage protection, and remain the best option to protect individuals from exposure to aerosol in high risk settings. The Mask Quality Factor and total inward leakage performance are very useful to determine the best options for masking. However, it is highly recommended that testing is undertaken on prospective products, or guidance is sought from impartial authorities, to confirm they meet any implied standards.


Subject(s)
Filtration/instrumentation , Masks/statistics & numerical data , N95 Respirators/statistics & numerical data , Textiles , Equipment Reuse , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control
4.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19403, 2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447324

ABSTRACT

The ongoing worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has set personal protective equipment in the spotlight. A significant number of countries impose the use of facemasks in public spaces and encourage it in the private sphere. Even in countries where relatively high vaccination rates are achieved at present, breakthrough infections have been frequently reported and usage of facemasks in certain settings has been recommended again. Alternative solutions, including community masks fabricated using various materials, such as cotton or jersey, have emerged alongside facemasks following long-established standards (e.g., EN 149, EN 14683). In the present work, we present a computational model to calculate the ability of different types of facemasks to reduce the exposure to virus-laden respiratory particles, with a focus on the relative importance of the filtration properties and the fitting on the wearer's face. The model considers the facemask and the associated leakage, the transport of respiratory particles and their accumulation around the emitter, as well as the fraction of the inhaled particles deposited in the respiratory system. Different levels of leakages are considered to represent the diversity of fittings likely to be found among a population of non-trained users. The leakage prevails over the filtration performance of a facemask in determining the exposure level, and the ability of a face protection to limit leakages needs to be taken into account to accurately estimate the provided protection. Filtering facepieces (FFP) provide a better protection efficiency than surgical and community masks due to their higher filtration efficiency and their ability to provide a better fit and thus reduce the leakages. However, an improperly-fitted FFP mask loses a critical fraction of its protection efficiency, which may drop below the protection level provided by properly-worn surgical and community masks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Filtration/instrumentation , Masks/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Aerosols , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Filtration/standards , Humans , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Models, Theoretical , Particle Size
5.
J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv ; 34(5): 293-302, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440594

ABSTRACT

Background: The precaution of airborne transmission of viruses, such as influenza, SARS, MERS, and COVID-19, is essential for reducing infection. In this study, we applied a zero-valent nanosilver/titania-chitosan (nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS) filter bed, whose broad-spectrum antimicrobial efficacy has been proven previously, for the removal of viral aerosols to minimize the risk of airborne transmission. Methods: The photochemical deposition method was used to synthesize the nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS antiviral material. The surface morphology, elemental composition, and microstructure of the nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS were analyzed by a scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and a transmission electron microscopy, respectively. The MS2 bacteriophages were used as surrogate viral aerosols. The antiviral efficacy of nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS was evaluated by the MS2 plaque reduction assay (PRA) and filtration experiments. In the filtration experiments, the MS2 aerosols passed through the nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS filter, and the MS2 aerosol removal efficiency was evaluated by an optical particle counter and culture method. Results and Conclusions: In the MS2 PRA, 3 g of nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS inactivated 97% of MS2 bacteriophages in 20 mL liquid culture (2 ± 0.5 × 1016 PFU/mL) within 2 hours. The removal efficiency of nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS filter (thickness: 6 cm) for MS2 aerosols reached up to 93%. Over 95% of MS2 bacteriophages on the surface of the nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS filter were inactivated within 20 minutes. The Wells-Riley model predicted that when the nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS filter was used in the ventilation system, airborne infection probability would reduce from 99% to 34.6%. The nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS filter could remain at 50% of its original antiviral efficiency after continuous operation for 1 week, indicating its feasibility for the control of the airborne transmission.


Subject(s)
Air Filters , Air Microbiology , Chitosan/chemistry , Filtration/instrumentation , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Levivirus/isolation & purification , Metal Nanoparticles , Silver/chemistry , Titanium/chemistry , Aerosols , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Equipment Design , Humans , Inhalation Exposure/adverse effects , Levivirus/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
6.
Pak J Biol Sci ; 24(9): 920-927, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1431004

ABSTRACT

<b>Background and Objective:</b> COVID-19 is a fast-spreading worldwide pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. The World Health Organization recommended wearing face masks. Masks have become an urgent necessity throughout the pandemic, the study's goal was to track the impact of wearing masks on immunological responses. <b>Materials and Methods:</b> This study was conducted on 40 healthy people who were working in health care at Nineveh Governorate Hospitals from September-December, 2020. They wore face masks at work for more than 8 months for an average of 6 hrs a day. The control sample included 40 healthy individuals, who wore masks for very short periods. All samples underwent immunological and physiological tests to research the effects of wearing masks for extended periods within these parameters. <b>Results:</b> The results showed a significant decrease in total White Blood Count and the absolute number of neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and phagocytic activity. However, there was a significant increase in the absolute number of eosinophils in participants compared with the control. The results also suggested there were no significant differences in IgE, haemoglobin concentration and blood O<sub>2 </sub>saturation in participants who wore masks for more than 6 hrs compared to the control group. The results showed a significant increase in pulse rate in participants who wore masks for more than 6 hrs compared to the control group. The results also showed a strong correlation coefficient between the time of wearing masks and some immunological, haematological parameters. <b>Conclusion:</b> Wearing masks for long periods alters immunological parameters that initiate the immune response, making the body weaker in its resistance to infectious agents.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Leukocytes/immunology , Masks , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Phagocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/transmission , Case-Control Studies , Female , Heart Rate , Hemoglobins/metabolism , Humans , Immunoglobulin E/blood , Inhalation Exposure/adverse effects , Leukocyte Count , Male , Masks/adverse effects , Middle Aged , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Occupational Health , Oxygen/blood , Personnel, Hospital , Phagocytosis , Time Factors
7.
West J Emerg Med ; 22(5): 1045-1050, 2021 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405508

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has reinforced the importance of facial protection against droplet transmission of diseases. Healthcare workers wear personal protection equipment (PPE), including face shields and masks. Plastic face shields may have advantages over regular medical masks. Although many designs of face shields exist, there is a paucity of evidence regarding the efficacy of shield designs against droplet transmissions. There is even less published evidence comparing various face shields. Due to the urgency of the pandemic and the health and safety of healthcare workers, we aimed to study the efficacy of various face shields against droplet transmission. METHODS: We simulated droplet transmission via coughing using a heavy-duty chemical spray bottle filled with fluorescein. A standard-adult sized mannequin head was used. The mannequin head wore various face shields and was positioned to face the spray bottle at either a 0°, 45°, or 90° angle. The spray bottle was positioned at and sprayed from 30 centimeters (cm), 60 cm, or 90 cm away from the head. These steps were repeated for all face shields used. Control was a mannequin that wore no PPE. A basic mask was also tested. We collected data for particle count, total area of particle distribution, average particle size, and percentage area covered by particles. We analyzed percent covered by particles using a repeated measures mixed-model regression with Tukey-Kramer pairwise comparison. RESULTS: We used least square means to estimate the percentage area covered by particles. Wearing PPE regardless of the design reduced particle transmission to the mannequin compared to the control. The LCG mask had the lowest square means of 0.06 of all face-shield designs analyzed. Tukey-Kramer pairwise comparison showed that all PPEs had a decrease in particle contamination compared to the control. LCG shield was found to have the least contamination compared to all other masks (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Results suggest the importance of wearing a protective covering against droplet transmission. The LCG shield was found to decrease facial contamination by droplets the most of any tested protective equipment.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/analysis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Masks/statistics & numerical data , Personal Protective Equipment/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cough , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Manikins , Masks/standards , Particle Size , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Opt Express ; 29(12): 18688-18704, 2021 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259231

ABSTRACT

The transmission of airborne pathogens represents a major threat to worldwide public health. Ultraviolet light irradiation can contribute to the sanification of air to reduce the pathogen transmission. We have designed a compact filter for airborne pathogen inactivation by means of UVC LED sources, whose effective irradiance is enhanced thanks to high reflective surfaces. We used ray-tracing and computational fluid dynamic simulations to model the device and to maximize the performance inside the filter volume. Simulations also show the inhibition of SARS-Cov-2 in the case of high air fluxes. This study demonstrates that current available LED technology is effective for air sanification purposes.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disinfection/instrumentation , Equipment Design , Infection Control/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Ultraviolet Rays , Disinfection/methods , Humans , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control
9.
Health Phys ; 121(1): 73-76, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1232236

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: This work considers the implications of cloth masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic on suspected plutonium inhalations and dose assessment. In a plutonium inhalation scenario, the greater filtration efficiency for large particles exhibited by cloth masks can reduce early fecal excretion without a corresponding reduction in dose. For plutonium incidents in which cloth masks are worn, urinary excretion should be the preferred method of inferring dose immediately after the inhalation, and fecal excretion should be considered unreliable for up to 10 days.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Feces/chemistry , Inhalation Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Masks , Occupational Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Plutonium/analysis , Radiation Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Radiation Monitoring , Humans , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Plutonium/pharmacokinetics , Radiation Exposure/prevention & control , Radiation Monitoring/methods , Respiratory System/chemistry
10.
J Occup Environ Med ; 63(6): e395-e401, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192024

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2), has claimed many victims worldwide due to its high virulence and contagiousness. The person-to-person transmission of SARS-Cov-2 when in close contact is facilitated by respiratory droplets containing the virus particles, and by skin contact with contaminated surfaces. However, the large number of COVID-19 infections cannot be explained only by droplet deposition or contact contamination. It seems very plausible that aerosols are important in transmitting SARS-Cov-2. It has been demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 remains viable in aerosols for hours, facilitating rapid distribution of the virus over great distances. Aerosols may, therefore, also be responsible for so-called super-spreader events. Indirect evidence points to a correlation between ventilation and the transmission and spread of SARS-Cov-2, supporting ventilation as an important factor in preventing airborne transmission. Further actions to avoid transmission of COVID-19 include social distancing, hygiene measures, and barrier measures, such as face-coverings. Professional masks offer better protection than cloth masks. These protection measures are especially relevant to health care workers, when performing endotracheal intubation, but the risk from non-invasive ventilation and nebulizing treatment seems to be moderate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Aerosols , Air Microbiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/classification , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel , Humans , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Int J Hyg Environ Health ; 234: 113746, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163860

ABSTRACT

Natural window ventilation is frequently employed in schools in Europe and often leads to inadequate levels of human bioeffluents. However, intervention studies that verify whether recommended ventilation targets can be achieved in practice with reasonable ventilation regimes and that are also suitable for countries with cold winters are practically non-existent. To explore the initial situation in Switzerland we carried out carbon dioxide (CO2) measurements during the winter in 100 classrooms, most of which (94%) had natural window ventilation. In more than two thirds of those, the hygienic limit value of 2000 ppm specified for CO2 in the Swiss Standard SN 520180 (2014) was exceeded. To improve ventilation behavior, an intervention was implemented in 23 classrooms during the heating season. Ventilation was performed exclusively during breaks (to avoid discomfort from cold and drafts), efficiently, and only for as long as was necessary to achieve the ventilation objective of compliance with the hygienic limit value (strategic ventilation). The intervention included verbal and written instructions, awareness-raising via a school lesson and an interactive tool for students, which was also used to estimate the required duration of ventilation. CO2 exposure was significantly reduced in pilot classes (Wilcoxon signed-rank test, p = 3.815e-06). Median CO2 levels decreased from 1600 ppm (control group) to 1097 ppm (intervention group), and the average proportion of teaching time at 400-1400 ppm CO2 increased from 40% to 70%. The duration of ventilation was similar to spontaneous natural window ventilation (+5.8%). Stricter ventilation targets are possible. The concept of the intervention is suitable for immediate adoption in schools with natural window ventilation for a limited period, pending the installation of a mechanical ventilation system. The easy integration of this intervention into everyday school life promotes compliance, which is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Ventilation/methods , Adolescent , Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Carbon Dioxide/analysis , Child , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Seasons , Switzerland/epidemiology
12.
J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv ; 34(5): 293-302, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1149900

ABSTRACT

Background: The precaution of airborne transmission of viruses, such as influenza, SARS, MERS, and COVID-19, is essential for reducing infection. In this study, we applied a zero-valent nanosilver/titania-chitosan (nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS) filter bed, whose broad-spectrum antimicrobial efficacy has been proven previously, for the removal of viral aerosols to minimize the risk of airborne transmission. Methods: The photochemical deposition method was used to synthesize the nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS antiviral material. The surface morphology, elemental composition, and microstructure of the nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS were analyzed by a scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and a transmission electron microscopy, respectively. The MS2 bacteriophages were used as surrogate viral aerosols. The antiviral efficacy of nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS was evaluated by the MS2 plaque reduction assay (PRA) and filtration experiments. In the filtration experiments, the MS2 aerosols passed through the nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS filter, and the MS2 aerosol removal efficiency was evaluated by an optical particle counter and culture method. Results and Conclusions: In the MS2 PRA, 3 g of nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS inactivated 97% of MS2 bacteriophages in 20 mL liquid culture (2 ± 0.5 × 1016 PFU/mL) within 2 hours. The removal efficiency of nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS filter (thickness: 6 cm) for MS2 aerosols reached up to 93%. Over 95% of MS2 bacteriophages on the surface of the nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS filter were inactivated within 20 minutes. The Wells-Riley model predicted that when the nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS filter was used in the ventilation system, airborne infection probability would reduce from 99% to 34.6%. The nano-Ag0/TiO2-CS filter could remain at 50% of its original antiviral efficiency after continuous operation for 1 week, indicating its feasibility for the control of the airborne transmission.


Subject(s)
Air Filters , Air Microbiology , Chitosan/chemistry , Filtration/instrumentation , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Levivirus/isolation & purification , Metal Nanoparticles , Silver/chemistry , Titanium/chemistry , Aerosols , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Equipment Design , Humans , Inhalation Exposure/adverse effects , Levivirus/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
14.
Anesth Analg ; 132(1): 38-45, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1124821

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Numerous barrier devices have recently been developed and rapidly deployed worldwide in an effort to protect health care workers (HCWs) from exposure to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during high-risk procedures. However, only a few studies have examined their impact on the dispersion of droplets and aerosols, which are both thought to be significant contributors to the spread of COVID-19. METHODS: Two commonly used barrier devices, an intubation box and a clear plastic intubation sheet, were evaluated using a physiologically accurate cough simulator. Aerosols were modeled using a commercially available fog machine, and droplets were modeled with fluorescein dye. Both particles were propelled by the cough simulator in a simulated intubation environment. Data were captured by high-speed flash photography, and aerosol and droplet dispersion were assessed qualitatively with and without a barrier in place. RESULTS: Droplet contamination after a simulated cough was seemingly contained by both barrier devices. Simulated aerosol escaped the barriers and flowed toward the head of the bed. During barrier removal, simulated aerosol trapped underneath was released and propelled toward the HCW at the head of the bed. Usage of the intubation sheet concentrated droplets onto a smaller area. If no barrier was used, positioning the patient in slight reverse Trendelenburg directed aerosols away from the HCW located at the head of the bed. CONCLUSIONS: Our observations imply that intubation boxes and sheets may reduce HCW exposure to droplets, but they both may merely redirect aerosolized particles, potentially resulting in increased exposure to aerosols in certain circumstances. Aerosols may remain within the barrier device after a cough, and manipulation of the box may release them. Patients should be positioned to facilitate intubation, but slight reverse Trendelenburg may direct infectious aerosols away from the HCW. Novel barrier devices should be used with caution, and further validation studies are necessary.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Intubation, Intratracheal , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment , Aerosols , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Inhalation Exposure/adverse effects , Intubation, Intratracheal/adverse effects , Manikins , Materials Testing , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Occupational Health
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(4)2021 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1110412

ABSTRACT

There is currently not sufficient evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control. In order to evaluate the comparative barrier performance effect of face masks and face shields, we used an aerosol generator and a particle counter to evaluate the performance of the various devices in comparable situations. We tested different configurations in an experimental setup with manikin heads wearing masks (surgical type I), face shields (22.5 cm high with overhang under the chin of 7 cm and circumference of 35 cm) on an emitter or a receiver manikin head, or both. The manikins were face to face, 25 cm apart, with an intense particle emission (52.5 L/min) for 30 s. The particle counter calculated the total cumulative particles aspirated on a volume of 1.416 L In our experimental conditions, when the receiver alone wore a protection, the face shield was more effective (reduction factor = 54.8%), while reduction was lower with a mask (reduction factor = 21.8%) (p = 0.002). The wearing of a protective device by the emitter alone reduced the level of received particles by 96.8% for both the mask and face shield (p = NS). When both the emitter and receiver manikin heads wore a face shield, the protection allowed for better results in our experimental conditions: 98% reduction for the face shields versus 97.3% for the masks (p = 0.01). Face shields offered an even better barrier effect than the mask against small inhaled particles (<0.3 µm-0.3 to 0.5 µm-0.5 to 1 µm) in all configurations. Therefore, it would be interesting to include face shields as used in our experimental study as part of strategies to reduce transmission within the community setting.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/instrumentation , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Masks , Personal Protective Equipment , Aerosols , Humans
16.
J Am Soc Mass Spectrom ; 32(4): 860-871, 2021 Apr 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006348

ABSTRACT

Masks constructed of a variety of materials are in widespread use due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and people are exposed to chemicals inherent in the masks through inhalation. This work aims to survey commonly available mask materials to provide an overview of potential exposure. A total of 19 mask materials were analyzed using a nontargeted analysis two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC)-mass spectrometric (MS) workflow. Traditionally, there has been a lack of GCxGC-MS automated high-throughput screening methods, resulting in trade-offs with throughput and thoroughness. This work addresses the gap by introducing new machine learning software tools for high-throughput screening (Floodlight) and subsequent pattern analysis (Searchlight). A recursive workflow for chemical prioritization suitable for both manual curation and machine learning is introduced as a means of controlling the level of effort and equalizing sample loading while retaining key chemical signatures. Manual curation and machine learning were comparable with the mask materials clustering into three groups. The majority of the chemical signatures could be characterized by chemical class in seven categories: organophosphorus, long chain amides, polyethylene terephthalate oligomers, n-alkanes, olefins, branched alkanes and long-chain organic acids, alcohols, and aldehydes. The olefin, branched alkane, and organophosphorus components were primary contributors to clustering, with the other chemical classes having a significant degree of heterogeneity within the three clusters. Machine learning provided a means of rapidly extracting the key signatures of interest in agreement with the more traditional time-consuming and tedious manual curation process. Some identified signatures associated with plastics and flame retardants are potential toxins, warranting future study to understand the mask exposure route and potential health effects.


Subject(s)
Chromatography, Gas/methods , Manufactured Materials/analysis , Masks , Mass Spectrometry/methods , Automation, Laboratory , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Models, Chemical , Organic Chemicals/analysis , Polymers/analysis , Safety , Software
17.
Anesth Analg ; 132(1): 38-45, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999780

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Numerous barrier devices have recently been developed and rapidly deployed worldwide in an effort to protect health care workers (HCWs) from exposure to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during high-risk procedures. However, only a few studies have examined their impact on the dispersion of droplets and aerosols, which are both thought to be significant contributors to the spread of COVID-19. METHODS: Two commonly used barrier devices, an intubation box and a clear plastic intubation sheet, were evaluated using a physiologically accurate cough simulator. Aerosols were modeled using a commercially available fog machine, and droplets were modeled with fluorescein dye. Both particles were propelled by the cough simulator in a simulated intubation environment. Data were captured by high-speed flash photography, and aerosol and droplet dispersion were assessed qualitatively with and without a barrier in place. RESULTS: Droplet contamination after a simulated cough was seemingly contained by both barrier devices. Simulated aerosol escaped the barriers and flowed toward the head of the bed. During barrier removal, simulated aerosol trapped underneath was released and propelled toward the HCW at the head of the bed. Usage of the intubation sheet concentrated droplets onto a smaller area. If no barrier was used, positioning the patient in slight reverse Trendelenburg directed aerosols away from the HCW located at the head of the bed. CONCLUSIONS: Our observations imply that intubation boxes and sheets may reduce HCW exposure to droplets, but they both may merely redirect aerosolized particles, potentially resulting in increased exposure to aerosols in certain circumstances. Aerosols may remain within the barrier device after a cough, and manipulation of the box may release them. Patients should be positioned to facilitate intubation, but slight reverse Trendelenburg may direct infectious aerosols away from the HCW. Novel barrier devices should be used with caution, and further validation studies are necessary.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Intubation, Intratracheal , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment , Aerosols , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Inhalation Exposure/adverse effects , Intubation, Intratracheal/adverse effects , Manikins , Materials Testing , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Occupational Health
18.
J Occup Environ Hyg ; 18(2): 72-83, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-975161

ABSTRACT

Simple plastic face shields have numerous practical advantages over regular surgical masks. In light of the spreading COVID-19 pandemic, the potential of face shields as a substitution for surgical masks was investigated. In order to determine the efficacy of the protective equipment we used a cough simulator. The protective equipment considered was placed on a manikin head that simulated human breathing. Concentration and size distribution of small particles that reached the manikin respiration pathways during the few tens of seconds following the cough event were monitored. Additionally, water sensitive papers were taped on the tested protective equipment and the manikin face. In the case of frontal exposure, for droplet diameter larger than 3 µm, the shield efficiency in blocking cough droplets was found to be comparable to that of regular surgical masks, with enhanced protection for portions of the face that the mask does not cover. Additionally, for finer particles, down to 0.3 µm diameter, a shield blocked about 10 times more fine particles than the surgical mask. When exposure from the side was considered, the performance of the shield was found to depend dramatically on its geometry. While a narrow shield allowed more droplets and aerosol to penetrate in comparison to a mask under the same configuration, a slightly wider shield significantly improved the performance. The source control potential of shields was also investigated. A shield, and alternatively, a surgical mask, were placed on the cough simulator, while the breathing simulator, situated 60 cm away in the jet direction, remained totally exposed. In both cases, no droplets or particles were found in the vicinity of the breathing simulator. Conducted experiments were limited to short time periods after expiratory events, and do not include longer time ranges associated with exposure to suspended aerosol. Thus, additional evidence regarding the risk posed by floating aerosol is needed to establish practical conclusions regarding actual transmittance reduction potential of face shields and surgical face masks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/analysis , Masks/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aerosols/analysis , Air Microbiology , Cough/virology , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Materials Testing , Occupational Exposure/analysis , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control
19.
Occup Med (Lond) ; 70(8): 556-563, 2020 12 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-930045

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Fluid Resistant Surgical Masks have been implemented in UK personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines for COVID-19 for all care sites that do not include aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs). FFP3 masks are used in AGP areas. Concerns from the ENT and plastic surgery communities out with intensive care units have questioned this policy. Emerging evidence on cough clouds and health care worker deaths has suggested that a review is required. AIMS: To test the efficacy of Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask with and without adaptions for respiratory protection. To test the efficacy of FFP and FFP3 regarding fit testing and usage. METHODS: A smoke chamber test of 5 min to model an 8-h working shift of exposure while wearing UK guideline PPE using an inspiratory breathing mouthpiece under the mask. Photographic data were used for comparison. RESULTS: The Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask gave no protection to inhaled smoke particles. Modifications with tape and three mask layers gave slight benefit but were not considered practical. FFP3 gave complete protection to inhaled smoke but strap tension needs to be 'just right' to prevent facial trauma. Facial barrier creams are an infection risk. CONCLUSIONS: Surgical masks give no protection to respirable particles. Emerging evidence on cough clouds and health care worker deaths suggests the implementation of a precautionary policy of FFP3 for all locations exposed to symptomatic or diagnosed COVID-19 patients. PPE fit testing and usage policy need to improve to include daily buddy checks for FFP3 users.


Subject(s)
Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Masks/standards , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Respiratory Protective Devices/standards , Smoke/analysis , Aerosols , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Equipment Design , Equipment Safety , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Smoke Inhalation Injury/prevention & control , Ventilators, Mechanical/standards
20.
Dermatol Ther ; 33(6): e14528, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917742

ABSTRACT

Given the current lack of a therapeutic vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), preventive measures including mask wearing are crucial in slowing the transmission of cases. However, prolonged wearing of protective respirators, medical and fabric masks can easily generate excessive sweating, moisture and friction. Closed and warm environments heighten the skin's permeability and sensitivity to physical or chemical irritants, leading to chronic cumulative irritant contact dermatitis or, rarely, even allergic contact dermatitis. Although not representing a life-threatening condition, contact dermatitis can have a significant impact on emergency management, as it is potentially able to reduce work performance and create emotional discomfort due to the involvement of evident body areas. To minimize the skin breakdown, adherence to standards on wearing protective and safe equipments and avoidance of overprotection should be performed. At the same time, some measures of skin care are recommended. Here, we offer some tips on how to prevent and manage contact dermatitis due to masks not only in health care workers, but also in the general population during this COVID-19 outbreak.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Dermatitis, Contact/prevention & control , Dermatitis, Occupational/prevention & control , Facial Dermatoses/prevention & control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Masks/adverse effects , N95 Respirators/adverse effects , Skin Care , Administration, Cutaneous , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/administration & dosage , Anti-Allergic Agents/administration & dosage , Anti-Bacterial Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/transmission , Dermatitis, Contact/diagnosis , Dermatitis, Contact/etiology , Dermatitis, Occupational/diagnosis , Dermatitis, Occupational/etiology , Facial Dermatoses/diagnosis , Facial Dermatoses/etiology , Humans , Inhalation Exposure/adverse effects , Occupational Health , Protective Factors , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Treatment Outcome
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