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Effect of electron beam irradiation on filtering facepiece respirators integrity and filtering efficiency
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  • Dagmara Chmielewska-Śmietanko,
  • Łukasz Werner,
  • Urszula Gryczka,
  • Wojciech Migdał
Dagmara Chmielewska-Śmietanko
Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology
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Łukasz Werner
Warsaw University of Technology
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Urszula Gryczka
Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology
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Wojciech Migdał
Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology
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Abstract

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has showed that the need for medical masks and respirators exceeds the current global stockpile of these item and production capacity. Taking into account that ionizing radiation has been used for sterilization of medical products for many years and electron beam irradiation enables the treatment of huge quantities of disposable medical products in a short time this method should be tested for the masks decontamination. In this work two different filtering facepiece respirators were irradiated with electron beam of different doses. Presented results confirmed that the decrease in filtration efficiency after irradiation of both respirators results from elimination of the electric charge from the PP fibers in the irradiation process. Nevertheless, applied doses did not influence filtering materials structure and integrity, therefore application of treated in this way masks can be considered after restoration of electric charge what is crucial for their filtering function.