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The Medical Mask Is Sprayed with Alcohol, Can It Still Be Used?

The medical mask is sprayed with alcohol. Can it still be used? Why can't medical masks be used again? Due to the effects of the new coronavirus pneumonia, masks around the world are almost out of stock. Many families cannot buy masks and have to use a mask repeatedly. So, is it advisable to spray a medical mask with alcohol? The answer is that unused masks can be used after spraying with alcohol, but used masks cannot.

The outer surfaces of medical surgical masks and medical N95 masks are "water-repellent". Alcohol, water, blood, saliva, etc. are difficult to penetrate. The purpose is to strengthen the protection of doctors and prevent cross-infection caused by liquid spray in contact with patients . The surface smeared and sprayed with alcohol is difficult to disinfect the inside of the medical mask. On the other hand, alcohol can also damage the waterproof structure of the outer layer of the mask. The reason is that the surface tension of alcohol is very different from that of water. The absorption of water (blood, saliva) of mask materials treated with alcohol is enhanced. This will accelerate the failure of the mask filter.

Why can't medical masks be used again?Because the most important non-woven fabrics used in medical surgical masks are melt-blown non-woven fabrics in the middle layer. Meltblown non-woven fabrics block viruses and bacteria through the barrier effect of fibers and the electrostatic adsorption of fibers. The fiber barrier and electrostatic adsorption of meltblown non-woven have a certain degree of saturation. To a certain extent, it no longer has the role of adsorbing pathogens. Therefore, surgical masks are generally used for four hours and must be replaced.

If we use boiled water, alcohol spray or UV lamp disinfection to disinfect used masks, in theory, it can eliminate bacteria and viruses stuck to the masks. However, high temperature boiling and spraying of alcohol will destroy the fibers of the meltblown non-woven fabric. This reduces the function of the mask.

However, if patients with respiratory infectious diseases must go to the hospital without a new disposable mask, they can consider reusing disposable medical masks. The purpose of reusing masks is to reduce the possibility that these patients will spread droplets due to coughing or sneezing.

The Medical Mask Is Sprayed with Alcohol, Can It Still Be Used?