Urgent call for members to donate unused PPE for testing

Article by Adam Duckett

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The process being validated would allow PPE to be reused rather than discarded

ICHEME is calling on members and their employers to donate any unused PPE they can spare to a volunteer co-ordinated project that is validating a process to decontaminate PPE and keep frontline healthcare workers safe.

The shortage of PPE needed to protect frontline workers from Covid-19 infection has made headlines around the world and remains a pressing issue. IChemE’s Covid-19 Response Team is working to help alleviate the shortage by facilitating the validation of a process already in use elsewhere including the US and Italy. The process uses vaporised hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate PPE so it can then be reused rather than discarded after a single use. However, the project partners are struggling to get the PPE needed to conduct validation tests so are calling for members and their employers to help.

Nick Geary, who is leading the project on behalf of IChemE’s response team said: “We obviously do not want to take supplies from the NHS or any other critical services so we are asking our fellow industry colleagues to please donate some of your PPE.

“We need a broad range of PPE, including surgical masks, FFP2 and especially FFP3 masks. We need a range of different manufacturers as each mask type needs to be tested and validated. Ideally, we need ten masks per manufacturer so if you can spare some please get in touch so testing can begin.”

The project involves Protak Scientific which has expertise in rapid and quantifiable decontamination validation testing. If you are in a position to help and could offer unused PPE please email: info@protakscientific.com with “PPE” in the subject line. The Protak team will then email you back with a reference number so that shipments can be catalogued and received by the correct department without delay.

“Once we help validate the testing and help secure approval for use, hospitals will be in a position to start using the process. Engineers are crucial here. We can help alleviate the shortage of PPE. The faster we move, the more lives we can save. If you can help with PPE, please do,” Geary added.

If you would like any further information you can contact IChemE’s response team via covid@icheme.org

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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