COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be havoc for the whole world and an unending challenge for the healthcare systems, hospitals, medics and paramedics. The most vivid example is the shortage of equipment and preventive kits, including the n95 masks. Indeed, there has been high demand of the n95 masks in the hospitals but the shortage of it has forced many local hospitals to use the ordinary masks also. The bigger problem for the healthcare professionals and others in the hospitals is, how best to sterilize (clean) the masks for use and, if need arises, reuse.
Dr. Craig G Burkhart, from the Department of Medicine, University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, Ohio, USA, in his Editorial published in the journal, The Open Dermatology Journal, defines a suitable way for sterilizing the protective masks. According to him, the best cleansing solution for protective masks is treating them with chemical sterilizing agents. The sterilizing agents following the chemistry that the oxidative processes with low molecular weight molecules, used with tested methodologies, can kill all bacteria, mold, and viruses. Ozone sterilization is one very effective method.
Ozone or activated oxygen (O3) is a sterilizing agent that has proved successful in destroying bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa. Combatting viruses, ozone diffuses into their protein coat, all the way to the nucleic acid, damaging and killing the organism. The activated oxygen destroys the unsaturated lipid envelope of the virus by breaking the existing multiple bond configuration. As the nuclear content of the virus cannot live without an intact lipid envelope, thus the virus gets killed. COVID-19 virus is one such virus that has an unsaturated lipid envelope enclosing the nuclear content. Other viruses that cannot withstand the activated oxygen include poliovirus 1 and 2, human rotavirus, Norwalk virus, Parvoviruses, and Hepatitis A, B, and non-A non-B.1.
SoClean is one of the sanitizers that use this very method for sterilizing cloths, masks and such items. It comes with the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines and, both can be used to sterilize the n95 and other masks for reusing in the hospitals and elsewhere.