Methodology for evaluating the level of respiratory protection of masks and respirators against particles similar to those that transmit SARS-CoV-2

Authors

  • Manuel Chavez-Ruiz Centro Nacional de Salud Ocupacional y Protección del Ambiente para la Salud, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Lima, Perú.Químico, magíster en Salud Pública https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9693-024X
  • Lenin Rueda-Torres Centro Nacional de Salud Ocupacional y Protección del Ambiente para la Salud, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Lima, Perú.tecnólogo médico https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5685-6658
  • Betsabé Ruffner-Camargo Centro Nacional de Salud Ocupacional y Protección del Ambiente para la Salud, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Lima, Perú.Químico, magíster en Salud Pública https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4288-5578
  • Cristofer Bellido-Achahui Centro Nacional de Salud Ocupacional y Protección del Ambiente para la Salud, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Lima, Perú.químico https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0699-8708

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17843/rpmesp.2021.383.8036

Keywords:

Respirator, Mask, Aerosols, SARS-CoV-2, Transmition, COVID-19, Pandemic, Respiratory Protection Devices, Filtration, Exposure Time

Abstract

Objective: To develop a methodology for evaluating the level of respiratory protection provided by respirators, surgical masks and community face masks used by the Peruvian population; protection was evaluated against particles of a size similar to those containing active SARS-CoV-2 virus. Materials and methods: A direct linear relationship has been determined between the logarithm of the concentration of airborne particles and the elapsed time; thus, it is possible to compare the quantity of particles inside and outside of the mask or respirator in the same time period, as well as to obtain the percentage of respiratory protection for each evaluated sample. Results: A methodology was established to evaluate the level of respiratory protection against aerosols smaller than 5.0 μm. Also, the use of accessories such as garters or adjusters behind the head and neck, and the use of strong nasal clips, significantly increased the level of respiratory protection against particles with a high probability of containing SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions: We found concordance between the obtained respiratory protection values and those expected, considering the filtration level of the material used for each surgical mask or respirator, as well as the tightness. A significant increase in the levels of respiratory protection was observed.

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Published

2021-09-30

Issue

Section

Original Article

How to Cite

1.
Chavez-Ruiz M, Rueda-Torres L, Ruffner-Camargo B, Bellido-Achahui C. Methodology for evaluating the level of respiratory protection of masks and respirators against particles similar to those that transmit SARS-CoV-2. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica [Internet]. 2021 Sep. 30 [cited 2024 Jun. 13];38(3):391-8. Available from: https://rpmesp.ins.gob.pe/index.php/rpmesp/article/view/8036

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