Efficacy and safety of disinfectants for decontamination of N95 and SN95 filtering facepiece respirators: a systematic review

About the systematic review:

Inadequate supply of filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) for healthcare workers during a pandemic such as the novel coronavirus outbreak (SARS-CoV-2) is a serious public health issue. A potential approach to extending the use of existing FFRs would be to decontaminate and re-use the masks. To help inform FFR-reuse policies and procedures, our team has conducted three systematic reviews to synthesize existing published data regarding the effectiveness of UVGI, heat, microwave irradiation, and chemical disinfectants for N95 FFR decontamination This review focused on chemical disinfectants, with the following objectives: (1) to assess the impact of each chemical disinfectant on FFR performance, with a specific focus on aerosol penetration and airflow resistance; (2) to determine the effectiveness of decontamination using chemical disinfectants at removing viral or bacterial load; and (3) to describe measures or observations related to fit or physical degradation.
  • Date Completed


  • Lead Researcher(s)

    James Dayre McNally, Katie O'Hearn

  • Lead Institution(s)

    Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

  • Contributors

    Katie O’Hearn; Shira Gertsman; Margaret Sampson; Richard Webster; Anne Tsampalieros; Rhiannon Ng; Jess Gibson; Lindsey Sikora; and James Dayre McNally

  • Initial Citation Set Size

    417 citations

  • Time To Complete Screening

    16 days

  • Link To Publication