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FDA approves Battelle’s process to decontaminate N95 face masks but limits it to 10,000 per day

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The Meals and Drug Administration has accepted the restricted use of a course of that may clear much-needed N95 protecting face masks and permit them to be reused, the company stated in a release. Columbus-Ohio primarily based Battelle makes use of a “vapor section hydrogen peroxide” course of to decontaminate the masks being utilized by healthcare suppliers and others to guard in opposition to the unfold of COVID-19. Battelle says its Critical Care Decontamination Systems might decontaminate as much as 80,000 masks per day.

However the FDA is proscribing the variety of masks that Battelle can decontaminate with its course of to 10,000 per day. From the FDA launch:

Battelle is permitted to decontaminate as much as 10,000 appropriate N95 respirators per day, in step with the information offered to FDA. Battelle shall present FDA weekly stories, together with information in keeping with a testing plan for scale-up reviewed by FDA, relating to the decontamination of appropriate N95 respirators, together with any reductions in decontamination skill

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine criticized the restrict as “reckless,” according to the Columbus Dispatch. “Battelle’s revolutionary expertise has the potential to guard healthcare professionals and first responders in Ohio and throughout the nation, however on this time of disaster, the FDA has determined to not assist those that are risking their lives to avoid wasting others,” DeWine stated in an announcement.

It wasn’t instantly clear why the FDA had determined to limit the variety of masks Battelle might decontaminate per day. We reached out to the company for remark and can replace if we hear again.

N95 respirators are disposable, snug-fitting face masks that may hold virus-laden droplets away from a wearer’s mouth and nostril. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention notes that the masks’ effectiveness is “extremely dependent upon correct match and use.”

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