COLUMBUS, Ohio (July 21, 2020)—A hangar near El Paso International Airport holds 20-foot steel containers instead of airplanes, with workers entering and exiting the boxes, dressed in full protective gear in a scene reminiscent of a high-containment laboratory.
Inside the boxes, hundreds of N95 medical masks sit on stainless shelves or hang from rods as fans blow, aerating them for hours after sitting in a hydrogen peroxide mist.
The site is one of 45 deployed across the United States by the Ohio-based nonprofit Battelle Memorial Institute, which has developed a technology for decontaminating medical-grade masks so they can be reused.
To date, the company says it has sterilized more than 1.4 million masks and offers door-to-door service to medical and correctional facilities free of charge, including shipping to and from their facilities.
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