Battelle offers decontamination system services for N95 respirators free of charge

April 14, 2020

Battelle announced that its decontamination services for N95 respirator masks will be offered at no charge to healthcare providers in an effort to help protect the workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System is operating in Central Ohio, Long Island, NY and Washington state. Additional systems are scheduled for operation in Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, and the National Capital Region. 

Under a new contract with the federal government, the cost of decontaminating N95 respirator masks will be funded up to $400 million across 60 deployment sites. Battelle was awarded the contract by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) on behalf of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The contract will cover Battelle’s associated costs of staffing and training system operators who will be deployed across the country to help process previously worn respirator masks. 

The Battelle CCDSTM uses concentrated, vapor 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 which causes the COVID-19 illness. 

“Since bringing the first system online, we have received hundreds of requests for CCDS systems and services,” said Matt Vaughan, Battelle’s Contract Research President. “The contract awarded to Battelle will allow us to staff additional systems to provide a continuous buffer against current and future N95 supply chain challenges. Battelle is thankful for the federal government’s support, including the teams at FEMA, DLA, and HHS.” 

“Battelle is providing critical support to our healthcare professionals across the country who are in desperate need for N95 respirator masks. That is why I got personally engaged to help connect Battelle with the appropriate contacts in the administration as they sought to rapidly scale up the manufacturing of decontamination systems nationwide,” said Portman. “The federal funding results in decontamination services at no charge to hospitals and helps protect front line healthcare professionals across the country. I will continue to do anything I can to ensure our healthcare heroes have what they need to stay safe while performing their critical work.” 

Battelle has started recruiting technicians to be trained and operate the systems as they are deployed. FEMA and HHS will determine where future systems will be placed for operation.

For decades, Battelle has served the military in protecting troops from chemical and biological hazards. The company operates Biosafety Level 2 and 3 labs where research is performed on live viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Battelle also has a full medical device development team that works with the FDA on a regular basis. 

Battelle CCDSTM is based on research that Battelle performed for the FDA in 2015 (Richter et al., 2016) to assess the feasibility to decontaminate N95 respirator masks in the event of a PPE shortage resulting from a pandemic. That VPHP decontamination FDA study, using the same system parameters and critical end points as the current system, was shown to result in 6-log reduction of G. stearothermophilus while not degrading the filter performance of N95 respirators for multiple decontamination cycles. Battelle is currently conducting research to validate other equipment, including surgical masks and ventilator components, can be decontaminated using this process. 

Healthcare providers that are enrolled in the Battelle CCDSTM program will collect worn respirator masks daily in accordance with an approved procedure and courier them to one of the active Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System locations. The PPE will be labeled with a barcoded serial number for tracking the chain-of-custody throughout the process. This ensures that healthcare providers receive their own masks back. Each respirator mask will be marked with the number of times that mask has been processed. 

Battelle has the story.  

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.