In the era of COVID-19, surgical masks are a necessity for all healthcare workers and an effective way to curtail the spread of the virus within the general public. Since surgical masks are still in relatively short supply, companies and researchers have been working on ways to make available masks last longer.
Cleanbox Technology, based in Carlsbad, California, has announced CleanDefense, a portable container that uses UVC-emitting LED lights to decontaminate surgical masks. CleanDefense can clean four masks per one-to-two-minute cycle, allowing it to decontaminate up to 100 masks per hour.
Prior to the age of COVID-19, Cleanbox focused on similar UVC-based disinfecting devices designed for augmented and virtual reality headsets. “Virtual & Augmented Reality headsets are made up of many different materials and delicate electronics that have multiple surfaces which are hard to reach,” said Amy Hedrick, CEO and Co-Founder of Cleanbox, in a statement. “They are much more difficult to clean than say cell phones.”
Over the last few months, however, the company saw that its technology could be modified to serve another purpose: disinfecting surgical masks. Cleanbox began by retrofitting its Cleanbox CX1 models, pivoting an existing device from disinfecting headsets to disinfecting surgical masks. These retrofitted devices are already being used at various hospitals, including Children’s National and Northwestern University Medical Center, according to the company.
CleanDefense is a more tailored solution, designed specifically for surgical masks. According to the company, its other UVC-based disinfecting devices have been shown to eliminate over 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, and fungi spores within seconds.
Cleanbox hopes to make CleanDefense available to not only healthcare workers, but also other essential facilities such as police stations and care homes. As states around the country slowly lift their quarantine orders, the company also hopes to see its devices in airports, retail centers, entertainment venues, hotels, and restaurants.
Flashbacks: Ultraviolet System to Sterilize Thousands of Masks Per Day; New Device to Disinfect 500 N95 Masks Per Hour
Product Page: CleanDefense