COVID-19: Health Care Workers and First Responders: Save and Send Your N95 Respirators for Decontamination

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Health Care Workers and First Responders: Save and Send Your N95 Respirators for Decontamination

Wisconsin’s new Battelle Memorial Institute Critical Care Decontamination System™ (CCDS) is now ready and available for use by the state’s health care workers and first responders for decontamination of their N95 respirators. The Battelle CCDS™ decontaminates N95 respirators by killing viruses and bacteria using hydrogen peroxide gas.

The Battelle system will be able to decontaminate up to 80,000 N95 respirators on a daily basis. Battelle advises that its system can decontaminate respirators up to 20 times without degrading filtration performance. The usual decontamination turnaround time for users is a maximum of 72 hours, plus shipping time, as long as the site is not over its capacity for use.

Decontamination services, including shipping, will be provided to Wisconsin health care organizations and professionals free of charge. Eligible health care providers include, but are not limited to, hospitals, nursing homes, public health professionals, human and child protective services offices, emergency managers, first responders, coroners, medical examiners, law enforcement and correctional institutions, home health organizations, pharmacists, rural health services and dental offices.

Health care workers and first responders, please save and send in your used PPE supplies for decontamination.

The Battelle system can only decontaminate respirators, and not other items of PPE. It is also not authorized for use with respirators containing cellulose-based materials. UV decontamination sites, which can service N95 respirators as well as other types of PPE, are already in place in much of Wisconsin.

  • All compatible N95 respirators must be free of any visual soiling or contamination (e.g., blood, bodily fluids, makeup).
  • Compatible N95 respirators that are visually soiled or damaged should not be collected for decontamination and will be disposed of and not returned after decontamination.
  • Masks should be marked with the name of the healthcare professional to whom the mask was issued.

How to initiate Battelle N95 Decontamination:

Step 1: SIGN UP – Download the Services Agreement [doc], have your authorized representative sign it and return by email to We will issue back a countersigned agreement.

Step 2: Once your signed services agreement has been sent, download and complete the Site Locations and POC Information form [xlsx] and return by email to Ben Presson Note: Each row of data in the excel sheet should be for a physical location at which you would like to send and receive masks. Example a countywide fire department would want to put in a line for each firehouse so each can send and receive masks directly.

Step 3: 3-digit site codes for each location will be provided to you after the services agreement is executed. The 3-digit codes are to be marked on each N95 respirator you collect. Begin collecting and labeling your N95 respirators.  Each N95 respirator must be handled and labeled properly to be decontaminated. Below are specific instructions for details on how to collect, label, and package your respirators for shipment.

    1. Instructions for Healthcare Personnel (mask marking) [pdf]
    2. Instructions for Healthcare Facilities [pdf]
    3. HCP - Fact Sheet [pdf]

It is VERY IMPORTANT that every N95 is properly labeled and free of any visible soiling such as blood, bodily fluids, and makeup. We cannot decontaminate N95s that do not meet these requirements.

Step 4: SEND RESPIRATORS! When you prepare to send your N95s, you will need to download and fill out the Chain of Custody Form [xlsx]. Please provide one form per shipment.

Other important details about the service are located in the Battelle CCDS™ FAQs.

About Wisconsin’s Battelle System:

Through a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the State of Wisconsin received the Battelle system earlier this week. This system is being provided without costs to Wisconsin’s health care workers and first responders through a federal grant. No state tax dollars are involved to supplement the costs.

Learn more about the Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System