In a move that will certainly bolster the stretched US healthcare sector in these times, the US FDA has approved another de-contamination procedure for the N-95 masks, amid an acute shortage of safety gear for medical personnel. Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP) is the latest company to get the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA, which claims to be able to sterilize 4 Million N-95 masks per day.

The procedure involves the use of vaporized hydrogen peroxide gas to clean the respirators. ASP’s STERRAD series sterilization machines, which are in use in around 6,300 hospitals already, will be used for the procedure. There are around 9,930 such machines in operation across the U.S., each with the capability of processing around 480 N-95 masks per day. These machines are usually used for the sterilization of everyday equipment in hospitals and as a result, the cost of logistics will also be drastically reduced.

The latest approval comes after Battelle recently received approval for a decontamination procedure of the N-95 masks. Battelle’s procedure is able to make the masks reusable up to 20 times, with a 2.5-hour decontamination process between each use. The setup has the capacity is to decontaminate 80,000 masks per day.

Duke University was the first institute to pitch this process, using this technology for sterilization since 2015. But a commercial use has just been approved given the unprecedented situation caused by the relentless COVID-19 across the US. The current count for cases stands at a frightening 561,103, which accounts for almost 31% of the worldwide count. The number of casualties has also risen to 22,106.