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North Bay company looking to decontaminate PPE

Nor Environmental International believes decontamination centre could be up and running within weeks
Nor Environmental International says it has the expertise to set up a centre to decontaminate personal protective equipment used by health-care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Stock photo)

As Canada and the world deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, a critical shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) has become one of the greatest challenges for health-care professionals.

To address the deficit, North Bay's Nor Environmental International is offering to establish a processing centre, which the company is calling NoreDecon, intended to enable the repeated decontamination of PPE used throughout the medical care industry and by first responders.

Equipment decontamination would include, but not be limited to, N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, goggles, face shields, and foot coverings.

Founded by Louis Brown, Nor Environmental specializes in the development of first responder and military safety systems.

“We designed equipment for hospitals and trained the personnel on decontamination procedure,” said Brown in a release. 

"The NoreDecon PPE decontamination centre's objective is to decontaminate as many as 100,000 N95 masks per day for hospitals throughout Ontario," said company president Marc Udeschini.

"Without adequate supplies of N95 masks, front-line medical personnel are at risk of contracting COVID-19."

The system uses hydrogen peroxide vapour in a sealed room with the contaminated PPE.

Udeschini said the company has been in touch with medical officials from across North America about its technology and how it could help. 

"Requests from all levels of the health-care system are seeking solutions to reduce the burn rate of PPE materials, and Nor Environmental has a recognized system to help reduce the pressure and can begin immediately," he said.

"It is a critical issue that health-care professionals can be assured of an adequate supply of PPE, and with global supply chains from manufacturers of equipment being restricted from exporting their PPE, Canadians are depending on others for their supply." 

PPE materials will be gathered at each health centre and transported to the NoreDecon regional processing centre, which Udeschini believes can be in operation within weeks. 

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