07.27.20

Gardner Urges FDA to Review if Decontamination System can Benefit Safety in Schools

Washington, D.C. – Last week U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take steps to make the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) accessible to alternative industries that may benefit from its decontamination services related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, should scientific evidence support the validity of its use for non-healthcare professionals.

Right now the CCDS system can only be used to decontaminate N95s for healthcare professionals and it holds potential for other types of vital personnel like teachers and students. Colorado has two CCDS locations in Denver and Montrose.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life as we know it and there remains an urgent need for supplies and equipment that support the COVID-19 response. We must ensure we leverage all available, effective technology to help support the provision of personal protective equipment to healthcare professionals and other frontline personnel, like teachers,” wrote Senator Gardner. “Other examples of professionals who could potentially benefit from access to this technology are Transportation Security Administration agents, bus drivers, grocery store workers, and many other personnel in public-facing jobs.”

The full text of the letter is available here and below:

Dear Commissioner Hahn,

I write to request that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) take steps to make the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) accessible to alternative industries that may benefit from its decontamination services related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, should scientific evidence support the validity of its use for non-healthcare professionals. As states, local governments, and school districts develop strategies to support and protect teachers and students in the pending school year, it is critical that they have access to all available tools to enhance teacher and student safety, including the Battelle CCDS, should the FDA determine it to be safe and effective for this use.

On March 28, 2020, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow the Battelle CCDS to be used to decontaminate certain N95 respirators for use by healthcare personnel to help address supply constraints. I am incredibly grateful for the FDA’s work to make this system available and for the two Battelle CCDS locations in Colorado (Denver and Montrose), which have been critical components of our COVID-19 response.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life as we know it and there remains an urgent need for supplies and equipment that support the COVID-19 response. We must ensure we leverage all available, effective technology to help support the provision of personal protective equipment to healthcare professionals and other frontline personnel, like teachers.

Other examples of professionals who could potentially benefit from access to this technology are Transportation Security Administration agents, bus drivers, grocery store workers, and many other personnel in public-facing jobs. 

I appreciate the steps the FDA has taken to make N95 respirator decontamination available for healthcare personnel and request a response on whether or not this system is something that could benefit school safety and the safety of other frontline personnel. 

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.