Toasters repurposed for PPE in fight against COVID-19

A University of Wisconsin–Madison alumnus is converting toasters into a conveyor-belt device that may be capable of sterilizing up to 150 face masks per hour using ultraviolet light so they can be reused. The intent is to aid frontline medical workers responding to COVID-19 by helping to alleviate shortages of personal protective equipment.

Bruce Winkler, founder of Innovation Strategies, LLC, is overseeing development of the new sterilizers and is offering one unit free to frontline health care facilities treating COVID-19 patients.

Ultraviolet light is the invisible part of sunlight that causes sunburns. The sterilizers contain 48 light-emitting diodes and mercury vapor lamps that emit a high-intensity form of UV light called UV-C, which sterilizes by destroying the genetic molecules DNA and RNA.

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