Battelle System Can Decontaminate up to 80,000 N95 Masks Per Day.

A revolutionary decontamination system is being installed at Camp Murray, WA, which will be able to clean and sterilize up to 80,000 N95 respirator masks every day. This system is being called an exciting breakthrough that could help solve the shortage of masks for health care professionals fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The process, called the Critical Care Decontamination System, uses four retrofitted shipping containers joined together, and so far, it’s the only one of its kind anywhere on the West Coast. 

The system- which was quickly invented and refined by the Ohio-based science and technology company Battelle- uses vaporized hydrogen peroxide and alcohol to clean and sanitize used masks that would have otherwise been tossed in biohazard bags after a single use. It received a rush “emergency” approval from the Food and Drug Administration after it was proven to be effective in sanitizing a single mask up to 20 times after use in contaminated conditions.

There are only four of them in the country now, and they’re expected to help or even end the shortage of masks for health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The decontamination procedure is about 3 1/2 hours, followed by several hours of aeration to get to a level where staff can reenter that space,” said Will Richter, principal scientist at Battelle.

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