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How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

  • 1.  How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 03-26-2020 11:24

    I'm the managing editor of Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP) and yesterday we received an email requesting PPE on behalf of Bellevue Hospital, which is in NYC, the U.S. epicenter of COVID-19. 

    Given that many chemical engineers use PPE, after receiving this email, our head of communications wrote this blog post sharing some easy ways to find donation locations, request a donation, or become a "maker" of PPE.  

    Many of our members may already be helping within their local communities or may know of other ways to help. I'd like for you to share your stories. 

    Have you donated PPE in your local area? 

    Do you have other suggestions for PPE resources (worldwide or U.S.)? 



    ------------------------------
    Emily Petruzzelli
    Managing Editor, CEP Magazine
    AIChE
    New York NY
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 03-27-2020 00:33
    Obvious, but maybe useful, would be considering the use of forced air respirator hoods used in sand blasting and spray painting.  The air supply is brought in from a breathing air compressor system.  We engineers know them well - frightening and a bit awkward to lay people but robust (VERY) and long lived.  Obviously for the front line medical worker.  More practical than the full breathing air systems (aka Scott Air Paks) that most of us in the CPI are trained to use.

    Also the frac sand folks have used N95 masks to combat silicosis hazards (and hate them).  There might be supplies of industrial versions unused in the Eagleford and the Permian basin warehouses at this particular time.  But 3M would know and they may well have already redirected such inventories.

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    Ed Kronenberger MS
    Missouri City TX
    EdwardEdwardEdward
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  • 3.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 03-28-2020 04:50
    May I share the thread to the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers (PIChE)?

    --
    Manuel I. Gloria, Jr.
    Principal Consultant

    Aquatreat Environmental Systems Inc.
    Unit 12-D Bellamaja G/F
    411 Aglipay St.
    Mandaluyong City
    PHILIPPINES 1550
    Tel. Nos. +63 (2) 532-1446, 532-1451, and 532-1474
    Fax Nos. +63 (2) 532-1474 and 532-1451
    Mobile: +63 (917) 830-9255+63 (917) 830-9255 and +63 (922) 830-9255+63 (922) 830-9255
    E-mail: mani@i-manila.com.ph
        aesi@i-manila.com.ph
        mig53ph@yahoo.com

    "If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, please notify the sender, delete it and do not read, act upon, print, disclose, copy, retain or redistribute it."
    You'll need Skype CreditFree via Skype





  • 4.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 03-28-2020 12:12
    I would be pleased!  I assumed that sharing was always encouraged from this site...

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    Ed Kronenberger MS
    Missouri City TX
    EdwardEdwardEdward
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  • 5.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 04-01-2020 06:26
    I shared a portion of the thread with the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers. I do not personally know if reusable PPEs or forced air respirators are available in the Philippines, certainly not among small shops that do sandblasting.  I do think that (some) companies involved in hazardous waste management (transport, treatment, and/or disposal) may have such equipment.
    That said, assuming that reusable PPEs or forced air respirators are available, I received a query on the proper procedures for cleaning and disinfecting reusable PPEs or forced air respirators.
    Your advice and suggestions are most welcome.
    Incidentally, my work involves mainly wastewater treatment or water pollution control.
    Thank you.

    ------------------------------
    Manuel Gloria PE
    Retired
    Aquatreat Environmental Systems Inc
    Mandaluyong
    Philippines
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 03-27-2020 13:50
    I have to agree with Mr. Kronenberger. The use of breathing air compressor systems could definitely help the situation of PPE shortage. They could be specially usefull in those areas of the hospital where a major concentration of infected patients exist, by providing a centralized system where the healthcare personnel could hook up via reusable equipment, instead of the current procedure of using disposable masks.

    The breathing air compressor systems include a breathing air dryer unit that can be easily modified to host different adsobents/catalysts within the line that can neutralize any micoorganism that could enter the sytem.

    Another separate but similar application for the same system could be to help produce "negative pressure" environments. These are extensively used in hospitals, but their use is limited to small spaces, such as single patient rooms. Applying the same technique to larger spaces by upsizing the compressor should be a fairly easy installation and will definitely assist in reducing the virus load in closed spaces.

    ------------------------------
    Francisco Castro Cara
    Research and Development Engineer
    SPX Flow
    Ocala FL
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 03-28-2020 16:15
    Seems time to resurrect the idea of reusable PPE. Not too long ago, masks, face-shields, gowns, etc would be laundered or cleaned, and sterilized after each use. This would certainly reduce the demand for one and done, disposable medical supplies. Must admit, I do not know the availability of laundry services for hospitals…maybe dry cleaners? Is it time to refocus on durable and possibly even more effective PPE for our first responders and health care specialists?

    What do you think? Stay safe and healthy!

    RP Hohmann [semi-retired Process Engineer…San Francisco Bay Area]




  • 8.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 03-29-2020 11:47
    Robert, thanks for your response. You make a good point. Being able to safely reuse PPE would certainly mitigate many of the issues that hospitals are facing. I think a major issue right now is that medical professionals are being forced to reuse PPE that is not meant to be reused. This wired article is very informative (and alarming): https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-covid-19-healthcare-risks-equipment/

    In a world where so much of our medical equipment is single-use for good reason, the cleaning routine of any reusable PPE would need to completely eliminate the risk of cross-contamination between uses/patients.

    ------------------------------
    Emily Petruzzelli
    Managing Editor, CEP Magazine
    AIChE
    New York NY
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 03-31-2020 12:39
    Hey Emily,

    The Chemical and Bio-molecular Engineering Department at New York University Tandon School of Engineering had a few donation events! I wrote my story below and had other who were a part of the efforts edit it. They are also writing their own stories in the hopes that they inspire more people to take initiative in this effort to get healthcare workers their PPE.

    Dr. Lindsay K. Hill, an alumnus of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and now a rising fourth year medical student within SUNY Downstate's MD/PhD program, recently coordinated a team of students to assist the hospital's COVID-19 testing efforts. Her former adviser, Dr. Jin Montclare, was immediately interested in helping to donate any extra PPE within the CBE department to SUNY Downstate. Within the same day that Dr. Montclare reached out to her colleagues, every professor in the department and the cleanroom facility donated their stock supplies to the effort. CBE department Ph.D. candidates Andrea Angulo and Adlai Katzenberg, both of Dr. Miguel Modestino's lab, and Haripriya Kannan of Dr. Ayaskanta Sahu's lab helped to organize and procure the PPE supplies. Dr. Ryan Hartman also coordinated the donation efforts of his former student, Dr. Chuntian Hu of CONTINUUS Pharmaceuticals, who provided additional masks to SUNY Downstate. The inventory was tallied by Dr. Hill and Dr. Aron Egelko, a recent graduate of Downstate's College of Medicine who is in charge of PPE distribution, and organized for distribution to the COVID-19 testing lab and to physicians at Downstate-affiliated hospitals including the University Hospital of Brooklyn-SUNY Downstate, Kings County Hospital Center, and the Brooklyn VA Medical Center.

    Additionally, on Wednesday the 25th, Deniz Vurmaz, a PhD candidate in the department, received a message from her clinical collaborators from ICU Department at Bellevue Hospital Center that his supply of PPE will run out on Friday. She quickly contacted her cohorts within her dept, including me, as well as Dr. Jin Montclare to blast an email out department wide to see if the professors could spare these supplies from their lab. The most important motivation was here: ''Act fast, Distribute fast!'' There is an obvious and continued need of PPE for healthcare workers fighting this highly contagious and deadly pandemic.

    On Thursday, I had just come out of my two week self-quarantine because of potential exposure, and I immediately cycled (to avoid using public transportation) to the lab to donate my group's PPE to The Brooklyn Hospital Center to fulfil a request on the GetUsPPE platform. I also reached out to the NYU Tandon School of Engineering's Makerspace to see if they had anything to deliver because I knew they were 3-D printing medical supplies to be assembled at NYU Langone and added their donations to my group's supplies. On my way home, Deniz was able to reach out to me to go back into the labs to gather supplies that can be spared for Bellevue Hospital ICU healthcare providers. Although most of the PPE was already donated, through calling PIs and graduate students, I was able to gather gloves, goggles, and safety glasses to be donated. These supplies were then cycled over to Deniz to be sanitized with a 1hr soak in DI water followed by a 70% ethanol cleaning before delivery. 


    The CBE department at NYU was able to donate 5400 gloves, 989 surgical face masks, 14 N95 masks, 20 fabric masks, 47 cleanroom suits, 180 shoe covers, and a box of sanitizing wipes on Saturday the 21st, and then, on Thursday, were able to provide an additional 1600 gloves, 12 safety glasses, 17 goggles, and a face shield from the labs. With that, it is important to thank the CBE department because every single professor donated supplies in this coordinated effort to get PPE to the hospitals, but more specifically Deniz Vurmaz, Dr. Lindsay Hill, Dr. Jin Montclare, Dr. David Pine, Dr. Bruce Garetz, Dr. Andre Taylor, Dr. Miguel Modestino, Dr. Ayaskanta Sahu, and Dr. Ryan Hartman for organizing this additional effort and making a sacrifice of their labs' operational supplies to get the PPE to the healthcare workers fighting this pandemic! It is also important to thank Victoria Bill from the NYU Tandon Makerspace for coming in to 3-D print supplies for NYU Langone as well as adding disposable lab coats, safety glasses, and face masks to our donation to The Brooklyn Hospital Center. Last but definitely not least, Dr. Hill and Dr. Montclare for organizing the large donation of PPE from the department!


    Edited by:
    Lindsay Hill, MD/Ph.D. SUNY Downstate and Alumnus of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYU
    Ingrid Paredes, Ph.D. Candidate Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYU
    Yao Wang, Ph.D. Candidate Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYU
    Deniz Vurmaz, Ph.D. Candidate Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYU




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    Omar Gowayed
    NEW YORK NY
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  • 10.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 03-31-2020 14:43
    Omar, thank you so much for sharing this story.  I'm sure everyone who sees it is beaming from hearing about the grace and generosity shown by you and your colleagues.  Our healthcare workers need all the support they can get.  Very touching.

    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 04-01-2020 14:22
    I work with using Vapor Phase Hydrogen Peroxide (VPHP) to decontaminate ​isolator systems.  I have seen this local use of VPHP to decontaminate PPE and have also heard about UV disinfection applications for PPE.

    https://www.todaysmedicaldevelopments.com/video/battelle-covid-19-critical-care-decontamination-system/


    https://vimeo.com/401385646



    ------------------------------
    Dawn Downey
    Sr. Consultant Engineer
    Eli Lilly & Company
    Indianapolis IN
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 04-02-2020 04:56
    Thank you, Engr. Dawn Downey.

    I'll search about Vapor Phase Hydrogen Peroxide (VPHP) process for decontamination as I am not aware of Batelle's presence in the Philippines.

    I am, of course, sharing your suggestion and links.

    Stay safe.

    --
    Manuel I. Gloria, Jr.
    Principal Consultant

    Aquatreat Environmental Systems Inc.
    Unit 12-D Bellamaja G/F
    411 Aglipay St.
    Mandaluyong City
    PHILIPPINES 1550
    Tel. Nos. +63 (2) 8532-1446, 8532-1451, 8532-1474, and 7501-1656
    Fax No. +63 (2) 8532-1474
    Mobile: +63 (917) 830-9255, +63 (918) 918-7640 and +63 (922) 830-9255
    E-mail: mani@i-manila.com.ph
        aesi@i-manila.com.ph
        mig53ph@yahoo.com

    "If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, please notify the sender, delete it and do not read, act upon, print, disclose, copy, retain or redistribute it."
    You'll need Skype CreditFree via Skype





  • 13.  RE: How ChemEs Can Help with the Shortage of PPE

    Posted 04-10-2020 18:24
    See AIChE discussion on potential for sterilizing and re-using masks and other PPE:  
    https://engage.aiche.org/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?GroupId=13&MessageKey=07297e6a-c5b5-4ea4-a693-38a4efcc09dd&CommunityKey=de21ae11-bfdc-41b4-851d-84c7293f0d99&tab=digestviewer&ReturnUrl=%2fcommunities%2fcommunity-home%2fdigestviewer%3ftab%3ddigestviewer%26CommunityKey%3dde21ae11-bfdc-41b4-851d-84c7293f0d99%26ssopc%3d1


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    [Bill Leighty]
    [The Leighty Foundation www.leightyfoundation.org/earth.php]
    [Director]
    [Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc. www.AlaskaAppliedSciences.com]
    [Juneau] [AK 99801]
    [Principal]
    ------------------------------