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Decontamination device multiplies N95 mask-life by 20 uses

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Posted at 4:29 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 16:54:34-04

LANSING, Mich. — N95 masks are typically thrown away after a single use, but a new device can decontaminate the mask up to 20 times without affecting performance.

The Ohio-based Battelle Memorial Institute created the Critical Care Decontamination System, a process that will introduced hydrogen peroxide vapor into the layers of N95 mask filters, neutralizing bacterial and viral contaminants with 99.99999% effectiveness.

“We are excited to use this technology as part of our strategy to fight COVID-19,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “This will increase the personal protective equipment available to our frontline workers as they care for Michiganders with COVID-19.”

The first Battelle device in Michigan was delivered to the TCF Center in Detroit on April 23rd. The non-profit science and technology lab is offering them to health systems, nursing homes, and first responders free of charge. FEMA has distributed 60 devices across the country.

Medical facilities may send their used N95 masks to the TCF Center for decontamination. The process takes about 1-3 days and Bettelle boasts its device can decontaminate 80,000 masks at once.