EFFECT OF DECONTAMINATION METHODS ON THE FILTER PARTICLE PENETRATION, BREATHING RESISTANCE AND MORPHOLOGY OF FILTERING FACEPIECE RESPIRATORS

  • Hussin Mamat Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Baderin Osman National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia
  • Haalah Mahmud National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia
Keywords: Filtering face respirators, decontamination, filter, penetration, resistance

Abstract

Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR) have been used by healthcare workers in their working activities. However due to scale of breakout, FFR are becoming short and insufficient to cope with demand, thus the potential decontamination methods need to be identified. The present study is aimed to evaluate the performance of three different models of FFR when exposed to three decontamination methods; vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP), bleach and autoclave. Filter particle penetration and breathing resistance penetration and relationship to the FFRs microstructure was performed. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) was used to observe the morphology property of the FFR. Comparison with the control samples indicated that Model 1 exhibited the lowest average filter penetration than those Models 2 and 3. After bleach decontamination of the FFR, high deviation of particle penetration and breathing resistance penetration data from the control was observed. This is due to the FFR structure degradation. Based on the study, it is found that all models showed acceptable filter particle penetration and breathing resistance even after most aggressive testing conditions used for the three decontamination methods.

Published
2021-12-20
Section
Original Research Articles