The Pentagon spent $415 million to decontaminate N95 masks. Is it a new way to get medical supplies?
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, the whole world has entered a state of emergency. As of April 16, there are approximately 640,000 confirmed cases in the United States, with 30,985 fatalities. The long-lasting, large-scale and harmful virus disaster quickly consumed the stock of medical supplies in many countries, which made them in great demand. The US Department of Health and Human Services announced on the 8th that N95 face mask and surgical masks, surgical gown and other medical supplies in the US National Emergency Medicine Strategic Reserve Project inventory are nearly “run out”.
Faced with this urgent situation, the Pentagon of the United States confirmed a new plan and will spend $ 415 million to purchase 60 systems that can decontaminate the N95 mask. The equipment will be put into use in early May. It is said that one system can decontaminate up to 80,000 N95 masks a day. So 60 systems can decontaminate 4.8 million N95 masks per day. It is also said that they can be re-used up to 20 times, which will greatly ease the urgent situation in the US.
In fact, the idea of this measure came from a couple in Columbus, Ohio. When the medical supplies were close to shortage, they came up with a study of someone who has done the research of mask purification. It shows that mask purification can be used in an emergency. Three days later, executives from the Ohio hospital system met with scientists from the Battle Institute to discuss the project. On March 29th, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Battle an emergency authorization to deploy these machines across the United States.
Although this idea has alleviated the shortage of masks in some way, there are still different opinions in society. Some people think that the money used for decontaminate masks can be fully used to buy new ones or to build the mask factories and production lines. Some people also said that there was a “negative effect” for the re-used behavior, which is like a “second-hand mask”.
So whether it is effective to decontaminate the mask? A new study shows that both ethanol and UV decontamination can lead to the functional degradation of masks. N95 masks are made of fiber. The diameter of the mask fiber, the porosity of the fiber pores, and the thickness of the fiber filter layer will all affect the effectiveness of the mask. Once decontaminated, the filter cotton structure is easily destroyed, which will result in the effect. When any part of the anti-particle mask is damaged, and the respiratory resistance is obviously increased, the entire mask should be discarded and replaced with a new one.
All in all, decontaminated masks can only be used for emergency situations. But it is worth understanding that due to the urgent of imported supplies and the complicated procurement process, there are some traps that make the import of medical supplies not smooth. Now, it’s time to find us! HiGlobal International Consulting now is devoted to studying the global value chain and high-quality supply chain. We not only guarantee quality certification for you, but also provide you with the lowest cost, highest efficiency, and safest medical supplies. HiGlobal helps you in product sourcing, price negotiation, factory audit, QC, legal support and after service. Making you more resilient in the global value chain and protect your business and family from beginning to end is what we are doing. Get in touch with us to start a profitable business NOW!