AMHERST, MASS. (WHDH) - A recent study completed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst finds that certain decontaminated N95 masks may not be effective for health care workers on the front lines.

The study found that using ultraviolet light actually diminishes the effectiveness of the mask, which may not be the safest for those in hospitals.

Richard Peltier, an associate professor at UMass Amherst said the study tested N95 masks that were used in hospitals to measure the impact of different cleaning techniques through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

He’s urging caution when it comes to cleaning these types of masks.

“You can’t just assume that when we manipulate these masks, which really are meant to be disposable, that we’re not damaging them in a way that we don’t intend,” Peltier said. “This is a public health issue and public health has to be led by science.”

Two types of hydrogen peroxide proved more effective when used to clean masks. The study showed those masks could be reused up to 10 times before being disposed of.

 

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