Can the mask be disinfected by putting it in the sun? What if I add alcohol?

Masks are an environmental headache that has made many of us wonder about the possibility of surviving leaving the house using cloth masks. With these, reusable, it is easy to know how to behave: as soon as you get home to the washing machine at 60 degrees. But if the cloth ones overwhelm us too much and we decide to wear the surgical hygiene kits that we see in Grey's Anatomy operating rooms What can we do to be able to reuse them? We are going to analyze what science says about it (and if the sun's ultraviolet rays are enough to achieve this "sterilization"). Why non-reusable hygienic masks can be disinfected? Short answer, no. The manufacturers advise against it while remembering that they should be discarded after four hours of use. But what theory and practice say sometimes do not coincide and the internet is full of tips and tricks to "sterilize" the masks and make them last longer.

Can the masks be aerated to extend their useful life?

It is not ideal (we insist, the ideal is to discard them), but if you have only used your mask to go shopping and return and the four hours of rigor have not passed, we understand that you do not want to throw it away without further ado. What we know about the system of "aerating" the masks to reuse them days later is that, in theory, the virus does not survive on surfaces forever … if they are dry.

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What does this mean? That although the outer area of ​​the mask can reduce its coronavirus viral load, the inner face of it, where your breath has been retained, is another story. If we are asymptomatic, the viral load in that area is difficult to decrease at the same rate as that of the outer layer just by aerating the mask, Keep that in mind. In addition, we must not forget that that area of ​​the mask also comes into contact with the bacteria that live on our skin, such as staphylococci, which if they multiply can cause diseases in the respiratory tract.

The advice is that if you have no choice Instead of aerating masks, keep them in a paper envelope and put them in a cardboard box until their next use.

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Can the masks be disinfected by exposing them to the sun?

Ultraviolet light from the sun accelerates the destruction of the coronavirus according to a study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, but don't get too excited about the discovery because even after seven days of exposure there is still a viral load in the outer area of ​​the masks (although it is very little at 0.1)… Exactly as long as it lasts if you put your mask in a paper bag and forget about it for seven days.

Also forget about the combination of alcohol spray and ultraviolet rays: alcohol can damage the inner layer of the mask causing it to lose effectiveness and the rays of the sun we have already told you that work the same as keeping the mask in an envelope. Take note.

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