Coronavirus in DC

Machine in DC Can Clean 80K N95 Masks a Day

The machine has the power to help health care workers and first responders re-use their masks for up to 20 times.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A machine with the power to decontaminate up to 80,000 N95 masks a day was made available in D.C. Wednesday, allowing health care workers to get their masks cleaned for free.

The company responsible for this system is Battelle, whose decontamination system uses vaporized hydrogen peroxide to clean thousands of masks. 

“The nurses, the doctors and the first responders are putting themselves out there at risk and doing that all to keep us safe. For us to be some small part of helping them have a better environment to help us all is amazingly gratifying,” said Battelle's research president Matt Vaughn.

The machine has the power to help health care workers and first responders re-use their masks up to 20 times. The cleaning process takes about 12 hours and workers typically get their masks back within two days, said Vaughn.

The research nonprofit has been using this technology for decades to clean their own equipment because they go in and out of hazardous environments, so they were able to quickly transition their own technology for use in this emergency situation. 

"In 2015, the FDA was concerned that there could be a potential supply chain disruption if a respiratory pandemic got too big and so they wanted to have a set of technologies evaluated, and so we ran these studies and came up with a solution that we have today in D.C.,” Vaughn said.

FEMA helped Battelle set up the location here D.C. This service is free for health care workers and first responders.

You can head to their website to inquire about this service.

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