Mask Reuse and Extended Mask Use:
• There is no way of determining the maximum possible number of safe reuses for an N95 respirator as a generic number to be applied in all cases.
• For mask reuse, preliminary data suggests limiting the number of reuses to no more than five uses per device to ensure an adequate safety margin.
• For extended mask use, respirators can function within their design specifications for 12 hours of continuous or intermittent use.
• Therefore, the recommendation for staff is to limit reuses to no more than five uses, or extend mask use for up to 12 hours, whichever is shorter.
• Keep respirators in a clean, breathable container such as a paper bag between uses. To minimize potential cross-contamination, store respirators so that they do not touch each other and the person using the respirator is clearly identified. Storage containers should be disposed of or cleaned regularly.
Fisher, E.M., and R.E. Shaffer. Considerations for Recommending Extended Use and Limited Reuse of Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Healthcare Settings. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. 2014; 11: D115-28
Bergman, M.S., D.J. Viscusi, Z. Zhuang, A.J. Palmiero, J.B. Powell, and R.E. Shaffer. Impact of multiple consecutive donnings on filtering facepiece respirator fit. American Journal of Infection Control. 2012; 40(4): 375-380.