Tavares – U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster (FL-11) toured Lake County Fire Rescue’s mask sterilization efforts Tuesday morning.
In April, Lake County Fire Rescue began sterilizing N95 masks for reuse among first responders in Lake County. In partnership with the Florida Department of Health, the Lake County Office of EMS and Medical Director, and the Lake County Office of Public Safety Support, the procured Hydrogen Peroxide Decontamination Unit can sterilize up to 300 masks at once during the three-hour process.
As the Food and Drug Administration reports a medical device shortage of personal protective equipment, the CDC-approved sterilization and reuse of N95 masks continues to assist in filling the gap while product manufacturers work to meet the growing demand.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that N95 masks sterilized with Hydrogen Peroxide blocked infectious particles just as effectively as new masks. The mask integrity is routinely evaluated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The Sterilization process is being conducted by Lake County Fire Rescue’s Special Operations Response Team; Hazardous Materials team members wear personal protective equipment during the process to protect both themselves and the integrity of the sterilized masks.