COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) — The FDA has approved a new N95 mask sterilizing technology, but limited how many masks a day can be sterilized.
The approval for Columbus based company, Battelle, allows the company to sterilize 10,000 surgical masks a day, despite the capability to sterilize 160,000 masks in a single day in Ohio.
In the FDA’s approval, they say the masks can be used up to 20 times.
Gov. Mike DeWine spoke about the technology Saturday during a news briefing and encouraged the FDA to fully approve the proposal.
He says the authorization of just 10,000 masks is limited to Battelle’s Columbus headquarters and prevents the company from sending its technology to other states such Washington and New York, which are considered the hardest hit areas from COVID-19.
“The FDA’s decision to severely limit the use of this life-saving technology is nothing short of reckless,” said Governor DeWine. “Battelle’s innovative technology has the capability to protect healthcare professionals and first responders in Ohio and across the country, but in this time of crisis, the FDA has decided not to support those who are risking their lives to save others. This is a matter of life and death. I am not only disappointed by this development, but I’m also stunned that the FDA would decline to do all it can to protect this country’s frontline workers in this serious time of need.”
Battelle says they planned to send around 20 machines to New York, Washington state, Washington D.C., and other areas across the United States.
DeWine said Sunday he and Lt. Governor Jon Husted pledge to keep fighting for increased use of the technology.
During a Sunday press briefing, DeWine said he had spoken with President Trump about his desire to get the full approval.
Trump tweeted after the conversation saying “Hope the FDA can approve Mask Sterilization equipment ASAP.”