Laboratorium ECCA, Jansen Cleanrooms and GreenX join forces in a new concept
MERELBEKE / ZONHOVEN / HOUTHALEN-HELCHTEREN, 26 April 2020 – How do you solve the acute shortage of face masks? In the search for the answer, Laboratorium ECCA, Jansen Cleanrooms and GreenX recently formed a unique partnership. Together they have developed a method to decontaminate FFP2, FFP3 and surgical face masks with nose clips quickly and safely, in order to make them ready for reuse. And it has proven to be successful, as the Clean Mask Decontamination Room (container) can decontaminate 6,000 masks a day. White-Yellow Cross Limburg has already put the container into use... and is enthusiastic about the results!
The Clean Mask Decontamination Room, or CMDR, is a mobile installation that cleans FFP2 and FFP3 masks on a large scale. The container uses a new technology, which has been tested extensively and ultimately validated for decontamination on a large scale. The entire installation is located inside the converted container, which can clean 1500 masks during every six-hour run. On the Laboratorium ECCA premises in Merelbeke, a decontamination unit has already been installed to clean face masks for the healthcare sector and industry. The mobile installation can also be installed and inspected on site.
The Clean Mask Decontamination Room is the result of a partnership between three parties:
- Technical partner GreenX is a decontamination specialist. This company from Houthalen-Helchteren has decontaminated no small number of hospitals, waiting rooms, labs and vehicles.
- Laboratorium ECC was established in 1980 as one of the first private and independent labs in Flanders. In this project, the laboratory developed a protocol that meets the conditions of the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAGG). Their responsibility in the partnership is the testing and servicing of the mask decontamination unit.
- Jansen Cleanrooms is a designer and builder of cleanrooms (i.e. sterile rooms). This subsidiary of Jansen the Building Company designed and built the mobile unit for mask cleaning.
“Fast, inexpensive and safe solution”
Dr. Tom Benijts, Managing Director of Laboratorium ECCA, explains, “We already used the decontamination procedure in our own microbiology lab, which has enabled us to comprehensively validate the efficiency of the process. When the idea was pitched to use the same technique to decontaminate face masks, we did not hesitate for a moment. We are convinced of the technology’s value and can now offer a solution for the shortage of face masks, not only in the healthcare sector, but also in industry. Reusing face masks also benefits the environment, an aspect that is important for a laboratory active in the environmental sector.
Peter Van Eylen, CEO of GreenX, comments, “Out-of-the-box thinking has paid off! Taking a creative approach to existing technology lets us now offer a solution for a very real problem. This benefits the small and medium-sized organisations that contact Laboratorium ECCA just as much as those parties that need to contaminate large quantities and use their own Clean Mask Decontamination Room.
Eric Vanhees (COO if Jansen Cleanrooms) notes that demand is considerable. “In the long term, institutions may be able to install a permanent face mask contamination unit. But the Clean Mask Decontamination Room is a fast, inexpensive and safe option for the shortage of face masks right now. We’re receiving requests from various types of organisations. The White-Yellow Cross, for instance, conducted a decontamination test with 1,500 masks. Various cities and municipalities have also shown an interest. Their specific need? To offer the masks to small-scale care providers in their region.”
White-Yellow Cross as pioneer
Like other organisations, the White-Yellow Cross is also suffering from the shortage of personal protective gear, which has resulted in a tremendous price increase. “That is why we are looking for solutions that are flexible, yet sustainable and affordable,” says Nadia Vananroye (Managing Director of the White-Yellow Cross).
Johan Peeters from the White-Yellow Cross is very enthusiastic about the Clean Mask Decontamination Room. He comments, “Now that this technology is proven, we can use it for the decontamination of FFP2 masks and reusable protective aprons for our home nurses.”
GreenX specialises in the elimination of biological risks in rooms, liquids and products using ‘green’ technologies. GreenX is a sister company of Led techno NV. Its CEO is Peter Van Eylen.
Laboratorium ECCA specialises in solving analytical problems in the food and environmental industries. The organisation boasts more than 40 years of experience and ISO 17025 accreditation. Hygiene inspections form part of the analyses carried out by the laboratory on a daily basis.
About Jansen Cleanrooms
This specialist company within Jansen the Building Company engineers and builds cleanrooms for the healthcare sector and industry (biology, pharmaceuticals, chemistry, logistics, microelectronics, food, packaging, etc.). Reference projects include AZ Sint Maarten, UZ Brussel, Sharp Packaging, Materialise, Thales Space, W-pharma, Solutia Europe, Qinetiq Space, Medace, Anicells and VWR.