Healthcare workers and emergency responders have recently experienced a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since access to new PPE was nearly impossible, researchers began looking for effective ways to sterilize PPE for reuse.
Recent studies out of Houston, Texas, and China found steam to be an effective sterilization method for medical-grade face masks. In China, researchers placed contaminated masks in plastic bags and steamed them in boiling water. The study shows that it took only five minutes for the steam to decontaminate the masks without altering their efficiency, ensuring continued protection.
Meanwhile, in Houston researchers took a different approach analyzing how steam sterilization affected the fit of disposable N95 masks, which are designed to seal tightly to the face. Their experiment placed N95 respirators in paper-plastic sterilization peel pouches and through an autoclave cycle. Researchers found that the N95 respirators were not damaged during the steam sterilization process and still fit properly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effective steam sterilization temperatures need to be between 121 °C (250 °F) and 132 °C (270 °F). Although research shows it only took five minutes to disinfect masks if the steam sterilization process lasts longer than two hours it will compromise their intended efficiency.
The great thing about steam sterilization is it’s not a complicated process, but to ensure proper sterilization, validation must exist. To assist with sterilization validation, MadgeTech offers a line of data loggers designed specifically for the job! The HiTemp140 high temperature data logger can withstand harsh environments and temperatures up to 140 °C (284 °F) with a variety of probe options available that can record temperatures up to 260 °C (500 °F).
The HiTemp140 is compatible with the latest MadgeTech 4 Software which comes standard, at no cost, with every MadgeTech data logger. The MadgeTech 4 Software provides custom reports of the data collected for easy analysis and recordkeeping.
To learn more about the HiTemp140 or to find the right data logging solution for your application call us at (603) 456-2011 or email [email protected].