One big problem with single use masks is, as soon as there is a panic, the supply chain has a hard time keeping up. Is it possible to make a mask where, soaking it in bleach for an hour or exposing it to strong UV light or something makes the mask effective for long term use?
Even if the mask costs a lot more than a single use mask, having a few long term use masks on hand for healthcare workers and other essential personnel would avoid a lot of the supply constraints we see now.
Perhaps. It’s probably easy. But I doubt it would happen soon. Hospitals like single use items when the unit cost is cheaper than cost of disinfection. Even things like suture kits and scissors are often single use. And the mask companies want to sell masks; people don’t want to wear masks worn by others; and no one wants liability for failed decontamination.
They already make reusable respirators. They’re made of thermoplastic and not fabric.
I have a good mask for my renovation work. The P100 filters are pretty good. I find I can use the big vacuum cleaner and clear them out so they last a lot longer. But that may be degrading them somewhat. No way to tell for sure. But a whole bunch of crap comes out. The flow improves after that.