US-based firm's N95 face masks decontamination tech gets FDA nod


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US-based firm's N95 face masks decontamination tech gets FDA nod

San Francisco, March 30 (IANS) In a bid to curb shortage of critical equipment to fight the novel coronavirus, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given nod to the limited use of a technology from Ohio-based Battelle which can decontaminate N95 face masks for reuse.

While the company says its Critical Care Decontamination Systems (CCDS) has the capacity to decontaminate up to 80,000 masks per day, the FDA on Sunday said it was allowing Battelle to use the decontamination tech for only 10,000 masks per day.

Battelle CCDS technology uses concentrated, vapour phase hydrogen peroxide (VPHP) and works by exposing used respirator masks to the validated concentration level for 2.5 hours to decontaminate biological contaminates, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19.

"Each Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System is capable of decontaminating up to 80,000 masks per day at full capacity. Because it is scalable, the system is capable of processing even more pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) each day," Battelle said in a statement.

Battelle CCDS is based on research that Battelle performed for the FDA in 2015 to assess the feasibility to decontaminate N95 respirator masks in the event of a PPE shortage resulting from a pandemic.

Duke University in the US also confirmed last week a way to use existing vapourised hydrogen peroxide methods to clean N95 face masks so they can be reused.