Nonprofit opens Illinois site to clean masks amid pandemic

Coronavirus

In this illustration dated February 26, 2020, protective N-95 face masks lie on a table at an office in Washington, DC. (Photo by EVA HAMBACH/AFP via Getty Images)

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) – A biochemical research company has opened up a new site in Illinois to sterilize used N95 medical masks with hydrogen peroxide gas as the need for them has increased due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chicago Tribune reports Columbus, Ohio-based Battelle started the cleaning process at the Waukegan sterilization facility this month.

The nonprofit’s CEO, Lewis Von Thaer, says the facility is intended to serve hospitals and first responders for free.

Company officials say the site can clean as many as 80,000 masks daily. Battelle says the Illinois site has been sterilizing masks for Advocate Aurora Health‘s Illinois and Wisconsin hospitals.

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