Research Alert

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption in supply chains across multiple sectors including the shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition to hand washing and social distancing, various PPE items are used to prevent contact with droplets and aerosols, reducing potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Effective, low-technology, disinfection methods for certain specialized-use items, such as filtering-facepiece respirators, medical-use masks, face shields, and body coveralls, as well as non-specialized items, like procedural masks, face coverings, clothing, and shoes, are limited outside of healthcare setting applications.

EPA researchers are evaluating the effectiveness of selected cleaning and disinfection technologies and commercial off-the-shelf products for these PPE items for potential reuse. The evaluation includes disinfection efficacy tests coupled with wear cycles and integrity tests on the PPE materials after exposure to disinfectants to reflect real-world use of such items and to help determine whether it impacts the wearer.

During this webinar, researchers will discuss their evaluation of cleaning protocols and disinfection techniques that can be used for the disinfection of disposble and reusable PPE contaminated with viruses. This information will help responders and the general public understand what type of low-tech cleaning and disinfection is most effective without the loss of integrity of the PPE. Learn more about the webinar and to register, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/emergency-response-research/webinar-series

Learn more about EPA's research on Covid-19: https://www.epa.gov/covid19-research

EPA Researchers:

John Archer

Anne Mikelonis