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Thread: N95 masks and exposure to bleach in storage

  1. #1
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    N95 masks and exposure to bleach in storage

    I found a tub of gear in my basement from H1N1 or some other event, maybe 10,years old? I had two packages of N95 masks, wipes, gloves and a gallon of bleach all in a big plastic tub. The bleach broke its plastic bottle and eventually evaporated out. The N95s were in boxes, which are bleach logged and brittle, and the masks were in plastic bags. The bottom half of the N95s in the stack have corrosion on the strap staples, the top half of the stacks donít.

    They smell.... fresh.

    Think they are safe to use (over using a bandana)? Are there bleach crystals that will rehydrate with the breath in and out?

    Iíve been wearing a bottom half one for about 20min and I seem ok? Breath is much fresher..
    I just did two lines of powdered wig powder, cranked up some Lee Greenwood, and recited the BoR. - Outlander Systems

    I'm a professional WAGer - WillBrink /// "Comey is a smarmy, self righteous mix of J. Edgar Hoover and a gay Lurch from the "Adams Family"." -Averageman

  2. #2
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    Maybe rinse in warm water to try and dilute the bleach out?

  3. #3
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    Itís better than nothing, but I wouldnít wear them. Either youíre going to be breathing chemical fumes, or the material broke down and wonít effectively filter particles down to the size of virus.

    Youíd be better off buying a fabric mask-cover from Etsy or wayfair or one of those places, lots of people are making them. Theyíre washable. Then, buy a 3M filtrete HVAC filter and cut it into pieces thatíll fit into your new fabric mask cover

  4. #4
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    The effectiveness of the mask being compromised depends on what the masks are made of, but I would assume they are degraded.

    At the very least, I would rinse them, then soak them to leach the NaClO out, then dry them. Bleach/Cl- fumes are no good.

    Bleach will degrade most polymers over time, and is notably destructive of natural fibers like cotton.
    Last edited by MegademiC; 03-26-20 at 21:49.

  5. #5
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    The bleach will kill the virus!!! I think getting them wet is a no-no, it changes the way the fibers interact. I put them to the side as a worst case scenario.

    I have been 3D printing some of the 'Montana' face masks. Wife is bringing some used/discarded sample fabrics for me to play with to tweak the filter. I've printed one mask in PLA as a test, then printed two in Taulman PCTPE, an elastomer related to nylons. I'm really happy with them the PCTPE has some flex to it, and has AWESOME layer adhesion so the masks conform a bit by flexing , but don't fall apart. I want to tweak the part that holds the fabric for better, less restrictive air flow. The mask part takes about 6 hours to print, I think the mod'd filter will be a couple hours.

    Also looking to add an. eye shield. Maybe using acetate sheets from paper goods stores.
    Last edited by FromMyColdDeadHand; 03-26-20 at 22:57.
    I just did two lines of powdered wig powder, cranked up some Lee Greenwood, and recited the BoR. - Outlander Systems

    I'm a professional WAGer - WillBrink /// "Comey is a smarmy, self righteous mix of J. Edgar Hoover and a gay Lurch from the "Adams Family"." -Averageman

  6. #6
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    Maybe donate them clearly disclosing the bleach issue? Someone will use them.

    I read an article where one university hospital started ‘cleaning’ / sterilizing their used N95 masks with vaporized hydrogen peroxide to recycle them.

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