Daily disposal of clinical
masks and gowns in a
coronavirus context has
created acute shortage
worldwide.

Global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear

 

Repurposing disposable masks and gowns

The 2020 Coronavirus crisis has massively increased the demand for PPE, worldwide. In most countries, masks and gowns are largely disposable items. Clearly, if medical practitioners were able to use their gowns more than once, the supply problems would be divided by the number of uses.

Could disposable masks and gowns be re-used more safely?

Reference Library

Click here for a list of relevant PDFs and links we have collected together whilst doing our research.

5 Key Questions:

Breaking it down, we need answers to the following:

QUESTION SHORT ANSWERS Standards and Processes: Masks
 
Standards: Gowns Nikwax Papers
1. What do disposable masks and gowns actually deliver and how? Bodily Fluid Resistance, Water-repellency, Particulate Filtration, Microdroplet Filtration, Physical barrier to infection
 
EN 149:2001 + A1:2009 Respiratory protective devices

EN 14683:2019 Medical face mask
 
EN 13795 -Drapes and Gowns Nikwax Single Use Gown Testing
2. How could performance be compromised by cleaning and why? Increased Air Permeability, Higher liquid (water) absorbency, Reduced particulate filtration, Compromised fit, Residual cleaning chemical
 
BS EN 14476:2013+A2:2019 BS EN 14476:2013+A2:2019 Nikwax Single Use Mask Testing
3. How can we avoid damaging performance whilst extending life? Wash Cold, Dry Cool, Avoid persistant wetting agents, Avoid abrasion
 
EN 149:2001 + A1:2009 Respiratory protective devices

EN 14683:2019 Medical face mask
 
EN 13795 -Drapes and Gowns As above
4. How can we achieve life extension of disposable masks and gowns practically with the tools easily to hand? Established re-waterproofing technology, Dedicated cold wash-cycle, Known cold temperature broad spectrum disinfectant that does not compromise repellency
 
ISO 18184:2019 Textiles- Determination of antiviral activity of textile products ISO 18184:2019 Textiles- Determination of antiviral activity of textile products As above
5. What are the risks and benefits of applying a cleaning process to make the re-use of disposable masks or gowns safer? Risks: Poor Quality Control, Inadvertent application of standard cleaning protocols Benefits: Improved protection during PPE supply shortage
 
Not applicable Not applicable As above
6. How could this knowledge be applied practically by people in the field? Recommended wash cycles, recommended drying routines, recommended cleaning agents
 
In progress In progress As above