Addressing Global Shortage, UMass Amherst Scientist Carries out Critical Tests on N95 Masks

Urgent research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is investigating whether health care providers can safely reuse protective face masks, which could slow the Covid-19 pandemic and ease a critical equipment shortage endangering medical workers and patients worldwide.

Richard Peltier, professor of environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, is testing N95 masks in the lab to see if they are still effective at blocking infectious particles after sterilization. “Face masks can only be reused after they are sterilized, but whether they continue to work as designed is not yet known,” he says.

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