Microwave- and heat-based decontamination of N95 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 microwave and heat, with the following objectives: (1) to assess the impact of microwave and heat-based decontamination on FFR performance, with a specific focus on aerosol penetration and airflow resistance; (2) to determine the effectiveness of microwave and heat-based decontamination methods at removing viral or bacterial load; and (3) to describe measures or observations related to fit or physical degradation.
  • Date Completed


  • Lead Researcher(s)

    Shira Gertsman, Anirudh Agarwal

  • Lead Institution(s)

    Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

  • Contributors

    Shira Gertsman, Anirudh Agarwal, Katie O'Hearn, Richard Webster, Anne Tsampalieros, Nick Barrowman, Margaret Sampson, Lindsey Sikora, Emiliyan Staykov, Rhiannon Ng, Jess Gibson, Tri Dinh, Kwame Agyei, Graham Chamberlain, James Dayre McNally

  • Initial Citation Set Size

    416 citations

  • Time To Complete Screening

    11 days

  • Link To Publication