Article from Reason by Christian Britschgi.

At the same time, government regulations are stifling the ability of manufacturers to set up new N95 mask production facilities—handicapping the private sector’s ability to respond to the current crisis.

That response includes the Open PPE Project, a group of about 15 engineers, technologists, and others who are attempting to set up their own N95 mask production facility, which they hope can then be used as a model for other companies and organizations to copy.

The production of N95 masks is regulated by the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Prospective makers of N95 masks must submit detailed written applications to NOISH, and send finished products to its Personal Protective Technology Laboratory for testing. NIOSH staff must also personally inspect new manufacturing sites before they’re allowed to start pumping out masks.

“The problem with that is that you have possibly 45 days to 90 days of product that could be used to save lives that is now sidelined,” he says. Complicating things further, he continues, is that NOISH inspectors are under travel restrictions (as are most federal workers), potentially delaying approval even longer.

Read the entire article at Reason.

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