By Nick Morrison
Our reusable masks have arrived, one for each member of the household in an austere black. They were not expensive, Around £ 3.30 each.These are actually designed for filtering out small solid particles in the atmosphere. As such they will be brilliant at filtering Covid containing droplets as these will readily adsorb onto the masks fibres where they can be washed out after returning to the house. Simple detergent and water will do it.
An alternate method of disinfecting the masks would be to expose them to Ultraviolet light (UV). Using UV for disinfection was discovered in the 30’s and is used to this day for disinfecting drinking water in countries like France and Switzerland. There are many suppliers of UV lamps but beware, some suppliers have jumped on the bandwagon and are charging elevated prices. You should be able to get one for around £20, even less for a bulb or tube to fit an existing fitting.
Chinese hospitals were disinfecting their surgical masks this way when supplies of the disposable surgical masks ran low.
You need UVC radiation to kill bacteria and viruses. This is harmful, causing skin cancer, sunburn and can also damage eyes. The normal UV light, sometimes called a black light will not work.
Washing in soap or detergent should work perfectly.