FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) — A company in Frederick is developing new technology that disinfects and decontaminates face masks.

Doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients have no choice but to reuse their N95 masks during this pandemic, putting them at risk of getting the virus themselves.

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So, InPro Technologies President Eric Couch and his team — including his brother and dad — decided to do something about it.

“The fact that they can’t have the necessary (personal protective equipment) to do their jobs is unacceptable,” Couch said.

Over the last week and a half, they’ve been designing and building a machine that disinfects the masks in about a minute or less using the power of UV technology.

“It could be running batches through a conveyorized system like ours exposed to UV energy that can inactivate the coronavirus,” Couch said.

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The machine could process about 10,000 masks a day and could be sent to hospitals around the country, but they’re still waiting on approval from the FDA. Couch hopes that approval could come in the next few weeks

He said he’s only aware of two other types of machines that have been developed to disinfect masks and believes his could make a big difference in this pandemic.

“I think it could be a game-changer,“ he said.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller