The State Emergency Operations Center announced May 1 that healthcare providers, nursing homes and first responders can send used N95 respirators to the TCF Center in Detroit for free decontamination. Michigan recently received one of 60 decontamination devices the Federal Emergency Management Agency procured from Battelle in Columbus, OH. The device is approved to process N95 masks using concentrated, vapor phase hydrogen peroxide. Each mask can be processed for reuse up to 20 times.
Battelle’s decontamination process has been granted an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has been shown to provide up to 99.99999 percent effective sterilization of N95s. Through its contract with the state, Battelle is providing staff to operate the device. The company currently has FDA authorization only for N95 masks, but is working to receive approval to decontaminate other types of personal protective equipment.
Nearly 60 Michigan hospitals have or are being enrolled to use the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination SystemTM (CCDS) service, some that have had masks processed at out-of-state Battelle facilities before the TCF Center site became operational. Those that have been sending masks to other facilities may wish to redirect their shipments to the TCF site to shorten turnaround times. Members may also use Battelle’s preferred logistics providers FedEx or Cardinal Health for free shipping.
Providers wishing to use the Battelle CCDS service should complete an enrollment form authorizing the company to contact them and supply the site code(s) necessary to label the respirators. Further details on the process for collecting, prepping and shipping the masks are available at the Battelle CCDS Frequently Asked Questions webpage. Specific instructions for couriers delivering masks to Detroit will be available during the enrollment process.