PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The University of Oregon will soon be able to decontaminate N95 respirator masks for the state’s health care workers as well as its citizens.
Through a partnership with the state and federal government, the university will house a decontamination unit that will be operated with the help of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. According to the university, the machine is eight shipping containers that have been retrofitted to be airtight chambers. Vaporized hydrogen peroxide is then used the sterilize the masks.
With the decontamination unit, a single N95 mask can be reused up to 20 times.
Costs of installation, as well as operation, are covered by FEMA. The machine is currently being installed at the Eugene campus.
These units were recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help increase the lifespan of N95 masks, which have been in short supply. The decontamination unit in Eugene is one of 60 that have been shipped out across the country.