UMass Amherst professor working to solve PPE shortage

AMHERST, MASS. (WHDH) - Healthcare workers across the country are in desperate need of N-95 respirator masks –the very thing the Center for Disease Control recommends to protect oneself against the coronavirus. With the massive equipment shortage, one researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is working to devise a solution.

“No matter who you are we are all affected by this pandemic and we can use the tools we have available here at UMass to solve some of these problems,” Richard Peltier, a professor of environmental health sciences at the university said.

Peltier is using his state of the art lab to see if it is safe and effective to reuse the masks.

““We’re testing the study in the laboratory to see if these masks continue to work after they’ve been sterilized and reprocessed,” he explained.

If the masks are still effective after sterilization the supply shortage that medical staffers are facing nationwide might not be as dire as previously thought.

“We’re trying very hard to improve the ability of clinicians to do their job by using the tools that we have here at Umass to assess whether face masks can be reused,” Peltier said.

He and a doctor from New England Baptist Hospital in Boston are working around the clock to tests the masks and are expected to have their results by Friday.

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