The COVID-19 pandemic has not made it easier to reduce our carbon footprint and waste disposal.
Healthcare workers and front liners are required to use protective equipment that is more often than not disposable in order to meet health and safety standards.
One of the required tools for professionals exposed to COVID-positive patients is the N95 respirator mask.
Experts have argued that the N95 mask should be required for healthcare workers instead of the more common surgical or surgical masks.
This is because, experts say, the N95 masks allows for better filtration of air particles that go in and out of the mask, making it ideal for those who work in close quarters with COVID exposed persons.
However, one challenge of the N95 respirator is that it’s single-use. Now, many professionals argue that the N95 mask is in fact reusable, and it doesn’t cost you a lot to be able to do so.
Recently, there has been research published that works in favor of sterilizing N95 masks using rice cookers and instant pots.
This is a stepping stone for those wishing to effectively disinfect their masks without destroying the integrity of the mask’s filters, as is the case with bleach and alcohol.
The research shows that heating N95 masks at 212F with a rice cooker for 50 minutes will effectively result in sterilization.
Even then, the rules for using respirators still apply: you can’t share them with others once you’ve used them.
The rice cooker or instant pot used for sterilization also can no longer be used to make food, as this would pose a health risk. Instead, it’s better to dedicate a single cooker for the sole purpose of sterilizing N95 masks.
Luckily, cheap rice cookers with amazing technology are now more accessible. For more information, read our guide for the best cheap rice cookers.