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Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters

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Environmental Microbiology (EM)  |  Microbial Ecology and Diversity

Microbiol. Biotechnol. Lett. 2022; 50(1): 95-101

https://doi.org/10.48022/mbl.2109.09015

Received: September 28, 2021; Revised: January 6, 2022; Accepted: January 11, 2022

Ultraviolet 및 건조 처리에 의한 마스크에 오염된 미생물 살균 효과

Bactericidal Effect of Ultraviolet and Dry Treatment on Bacterial Contaminants in Facial Masks

Seul-Ki Park1, Da-eun Lee2, Du-Min Jo2,3, Mi-Ru Song2, and Young-Mog Kim3,4*

1Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, 57 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada 2Department of Food Science and Technology, 3Research Center for Marine Integrated Bionics Technology, Pukyong National University, Busan 48513, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to :
Young-Mog Kim, ymkim@pknu.ac.kr

Due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19, the demand for face masks is soaring and has often caused a shortage. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ultraviolet (UV) and drying treatments on microbial contaminants in facial masks. To conduct this study, standard procedures were designed to develop samples contaminated by the control bacteria Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The contamination level of the standard samples was approximately 6.30 × 106 CFU/ml, and the UV light treatment was performed 1, 3, 5, and 7 times. To evaluate the effect of the UV and drying treatments, the masks were first treated with UV 1, 2, and 3 times, followed by the drying process. As a result, the mask contaminated with E. coli and P. aeruginosa showed a bacterial rate of approximately 99.9% after 1 UV irradiation, and in the case of the S. aureus-contaminated mask, it exhibited a bactericidal rate of approximately 99.9% after 7 UV irradiations. However, when the drying process was included after UV irradiation, all the samples contaminated with E. coli, S. aureus, and P. aeruginosa showed a bactericidal rate of 99.9% or more. The results of this study suggest that UV and drying treatments can effectively reduce the bacterial contaminants in facial masks. In addition, these results provide fundamental data and appropriate sterilization methods for reusing masks.

Keywords: Bacterial contaminants, sterilization, UV light, facial mask, drying

Graphical Abstract


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