The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has created and unveiled a method that civilians can use to disinfect personal protective equipment.
S&T's do-it-yourself PPE cleanup method involves the use of a programmable multi-cooker that allows for moist heat decontamination, a method endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), DHS said Friday.
The method requires users to put protective masks in a paper bag that will then undergo a 30-minute steaming in a multicooker. The moist heat, from half an inch of water in the multicooker, neutralizes the virus' presence in saliva and culture media on the masks.
A standard mask can still function properly after up to five cycles of the multicooker cleansing, DHS said. S&T will conduct more research on the method's cleansing effect on lung fluid.
“We understand that PPE is not always readily available and are working tirelessly to provide Americans with simple methods to extend the life of this important equipment," said William Bryan, DHS's acting undersecretary for science and technology.