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Effect of electron beam irradiation on filtering facepiece respirators integrity and filtering efficiency


The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the demand for medical masks and respirators exceeds the current global stockpile of these items, and there is a dire need to increase the production capacity. Considering that ionizing radiation has been used for sterilization of medical products for many years and electron beam (EB) irradiation enables the treatment of huge quantities of disposable medical products in a short time this method should be tested for the mask’s decontamination. In this work, three different filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) were irradiated with electron beams of 12 kGy and 25 kGy. The results confirmed that the decrease in filtration efficiency after irradiation of all respirators results from the elimination of the electric charge from the polypropylene (PP) fibers in the irradiation process. Moreover, the applied doses may affect the thermal stability of PP fabrics, while filtering materials structure and integrity have not changed after irradiation.

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Chemie, Nuklearchemie, Physik, Astronomie und Astrophysik, andere