Evidence-Based Nursing Practice

Table of Contents



How Big Are Coronavirus Particles?.

Masks used for Air pollution are capable or are not capable to capture/prevent the Covid 19 virus particles

The aspect of leakage in the mask in use.

Evidence mask usage prevents infection.




Introduction to Decontamination of SARS-CoV-2

Covid 19, commonly denoted as the coronavirus disease has taken the world by storm over the last couple of months. The disease is highly infectious and has taken short time to spread to the whole world, hence being declared a global pandemic. Most of the people who contract this infection suffer respiratory constraints, though some people can recover without seeking medication depending on one's immunity. However, it's the aged and chronic illnesses patients who mostly get infected when they come in contact with the Covid 19 virus, developing serious complications with high death chances. Covid 19 has no verified cure mechanism and it is on the supplementary medications to suppress the symptoms of the disease, hence the healing procedure is centered on the strength of a person's immunity. This factor has cornered the elderly and sickly group as the most vulnerable group. 

Discussion on Decontamination of SARS-CoV-2

How Big Are Coronavirus Particles?

As stated by Zhu et al. (2020), within a few weeks of the outbreak, scientists used electron microscopes to measure the size of the coronavirus. They found that Covid 19 particle (or “virion”) are spherical particles with approx 0.125 microns in diameter with the smallest one being 0.06 microns, as well as the large being 0.14 microns.

This refers to the fact that the coronavirus particles are even smaller than that of the mentioned standard of PM2.5 still bigger than few dust and gas particles. Now after exploring the size of COVID-19 particles this can be compared with the data that is based on the aspect of effective filtration by the masks. The point as envisaged by the author is divided into 2 main simple parts.

Masks Used for Air Pollution Are Capable or Are Not Capable to Capture/prevent the Covid 19 Virus Particles

The Edinburgh University-based researchers made instruments for testing different types of commonly used masks through a diesel generator which is run to create the feeling of car exhaust. Later they piped out the exhaust and used different masks to test their filtration capability. To get the right reading they went on to use a micro-particle counter to check for the amount of infiltration and blockage by the mask (smartairfilters.com, 2020).

Here the particle counter that was used was capable of counting the particles as low as 0.007-microns which are at least more than 10 times smaller than that of the coronavirus particles in terms of their diameter (Liao et al., 2019). Going further the author elaborated on the experiment and states that the test was carried out on a whole range associated with the masks as well as refer to the materials that were used to make the mask. Here’s the percentage of particles the different materials blocked.

It was found that amongst all the 3M N95 masks were able to capture more than 95 percent particles those are almost down to 0.007 microns. They were even able to filter the particles that were 10 times smaller than those of the COVID19 virus particles. Not only this the researcher states his surprise when it was found that even the surgical mask was capable of preventing and capture at least 80% of all the tiny particles.

 It was further summarized and confirmed after the interpretation of more data. Here he concludes by stating that these generic surgical masks are capable of preventing CoVID19 virus particles and are surprisingly effective when the price quotient is considered (Campos et al., 2020).

Although this experiment was carried out using diesel exhaust, but not with virus particles hence there was some confusion arising initially about the capability of those masks in the direction of preventing COVID 19 virus and mass usage.

Supporting the above-mentioned fact Radonovic et al. (2019), said that, the Scientists again conducted research on N95 by inoculating the virus particles at N95 masks and tested what percentage of particles the masks could capture. N95 masks are rated to capture 95% of particles. In other words, they should let in 5% of particles. But the test found that the masks let in less than 5% of virus particles.

In another study, when scientists looked only at viable virus particles, they found that N95 masks performed even better, letting through 2% of virus particles. Now while concluding the author stated that the preventive Masks that include surgical masks, as well as the N95 masks, are capable of capturing the smaller virus particles. These virus particles were even smaller than that of the ones which are 10 times smaller than those of the coronavirus (Zhu et al., 2020).

The Aspect of Leakage in The Mask in Use

Here Gupta (2020) was instrumental in describing the fact that, these masks are capable of capturing the particles that are even smaller than those of the Covid 19 virus, on the contrary when a person wears them, he still can get vulnerable to the virus particle’s exposure as the air can escape into the environment or inhale from the environment through its sides of the mask. In context to find an answer to this confusion a highly complicated and expensive machine was used known as “fit-test machine”. Providentially, the author at the end of the experiment was involved in finding a fact that after using a range of masks it was found that the 3M masks confirmed the capture of 99 percent plus tiny particles that were less than equal to 0.01 micron.

 It was hence proved by the assimilation of the experiments that were conducted by some scientist which proved the fact that the coronavirus and the particles which are 10 times smaller than the mentioned virus particles gets blocked even a person wear them on their faces. The author concluded the discussion based on the detailed comparison data mentioned in the charts and graphs given below. All the available data was combined with all data and was concluded that the masks if it is surgical or N95, worked best for the humans even if there is the presence of some leakage. He concluded by adding a fact that when the comparison of the two masks was carried out in terms of effectively then the surgical mask can act a bit high on the effective side due to its cost efficiency and availability amongst the masses. They are capable of capturing at least 63 percent of all particles similar to the contextual one named Covid19 (smartairfilters.com, 2020).

It will be good to conclude that these masks were able to capture even the smallest of the particles which are 10 times smaller than the Covid19 viruses. They even work well while wearing.

Evidence Mask Usage Prevents Infection

As described by Vo, Vo & Vo (2020), it is a fact that "masks capture viruses" but it is not the same as “wearing a mask will reduce exposure to zero.” There are two potential problems, the first one being the filtration rate is not 100%, so some virus particles can still make it through. The second one refers to the masks that are in need to be worn properly to reach full effectiveness. It is fortunate enough that the scientists have tested this question. In one study, scientists assigned some of the people as samples to wear surgical masks, N95 masks, or no mask while taking care of children that were sick with the flu. They found that people wearing masks had about a 75% lower probability of getting sick. But masks only worked for people who frequently wore their mask. Yes, Mask is controlling Coronavirus spread and helped slow down the daily cases but the only facemask is not that safe. It is required to protect the eyes, practice social distancing and washing hands at regular intervals.


The above-mentioned literary works although brings out the utility and the safeguarding levels but has missed some of the important aspects that can impact the use of mask and its utility. This is involved in creating a gap in terms of the literary works in which are the reliable brands that are to be in practice into use to enjoy complete protection is not addressed. Even the ways to identify the original n-95 Mask from the generic ones are not described in context to this paper. Next is the level of counterfeiting as measures need to be undertaken to stop the spread of some of the non-N-95 mask due to counterfeiting. The differences in price levels are also not discussed in the context of this paper.  

Conclusion on Decontamination of SARS-CoV-2

It was found that the infection daily rate of COVID-19 has increased even with the mask guaranteeing their protection. Those who wore masks were less likely to die. Referring to some strong case reports the author claims that masks can prevent infection in high-risk situations especially in elderly adults. The epidemic is still rampant alongside it several precautionary measures as directed by WHO was undertaken to prevent it one of these being the lockdown. It was found that the only way to reduce the number of cases is through horrendous isolation, practicing wearing tight masks, social distancing, and over-involvement in the infection control measures by frequent handwashing irrespective of the person's place among the communities.

References for Decontamination of SARS-CoV-2

Campos, R. K., Jin, J., Rafael, G. H., Zhao, M., Liao, L., Simmons, G., ... & Cui, Y. (2020). Decontamination of SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses from N95 level meltblown polypropylene fabric using heat under different humidities. ACS nano. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.0c06565

Radonovich, L. J., Simberkoff, M. S., Bessesen, M. T., Brown, A. C., Cummings, D. A., Gaydos, C. A., ... & Nyquist, A. C. (2019). N95 respirators vs medical masks for preventing influenza among health care personnel: a randomized clinical trial. Jama322(9), 824-833. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.11645

Gupta, M. (2020). SIGNIFICANCE OF N95 MASKS IN THE PANDEMIC. SIGNIFICANCE OF N95 MASKS IN THE PANDEMIC59(1), 9-9. doi: 10.47119/IJRP100591820201400

hindustantimes.com (2020), 2m distancing, masks key to stopping Covid-19 spread: Study, from: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/social-distancing-masks-eye-wear-and-hand-washing-work-best-in-combination-study/story-yROOhsGvHO0Zp7eAZpJmjJ.html

Liao, L., Xiao, W., Zhao, M., Yu, X., Wang, H., Wang, Q., ... & Cui, Y. (2020). Can N95 respirators be reused after disinfection? How many times?. ACS nano. https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c03597

smartairfilters.com (2020), Do Pollution Masks Really Work?, from: https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/do-pollution-masks-work/

Vo, T. S., Vo, T. T. T. N., & Vo, T. T. B. C. (2020). Coronavirus Infection Prevention by Wearing Masks. The Eurasian Journal of Medicine52(2), 197. doi: 10.5152/eurasianjmed.2020.20056

Zhu, N., Zhang, D., Wang, W., Li, X., Yang, B., Song, J., ... & Niu, P. (2020). A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. New England Journal of Medicine. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2001017

Zhu, J., He, X., Guffey, S., Wang, L., Wang, H., & Cheng, J. (2020). Performance Comparison of N95 and P100 Filtering Facepiece Respirators with Presence of Artificial Leakage. Annals of Work Exposures and Health64(2), 202-216. https://doi.org/10.1093/annweh/wxz086

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Nursing Assignment Help

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