Population Health

October 14, 2020

Initiative-supported project decontaminates N95 respirator masks using ultraviolet light

Image of the deconamination boxA University of Washington-led team has developed a box that decontaminates N95 respirator masks using ultraviolet light. This box supports the reuse of masks for first responders, who need the masks to protect themselves from COVID-19 and are concerned about shortages.

The research group is currently building and distributing boxes to first-responder stations across King County. The box uses UVC radiation, the highest energy of the three types of UV rays.

The team’s box, which looks like a microwave and is about the size of a small refrigerator, can disinfect all surfaces of 15 masks at one time. The process takes about a half an hour. The team hopes to build at least 100 boxes and is interested in eventually distributing boxes across Washington.

This project was supported with funding from the Population Health Initiative’s COVID-19 rapid response funding.

Learn More >