Decontaminating N95 and SN95 masks with Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) does not impair mask efficacy and safety: 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 UVGI, with the following objectives: (1) to assess the impact of the UVGI method on FFR performance, with a specific focus on aerosol penetration and airflow resistance; (2) to determine the effectiveness of the UVGI decontamination method 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; Anna-Theresa Lobos; Nina Acharya; Anirudh Agarwal; Samantha Boggs; Graham Chamberlain; Emiliyan Staykov; Lindsey Sikora; and James Dayre McNally

  • Initial Citation Set Size

    1108 citations

  • Time To Complete Screening

    7 days

  • Link To Publication