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Decontamination of N95 masks offers hope for health care workers

April 16, 2020 — 

News is spreading that N95 masks can be decontaminated and reused, offering hope to health care workers who are running out of proper supplies of PPEs. Research and testing by a team led by Dr. Anand Kumar has been noted in a story carried by many international media outlets, including the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, and the Sun Sentinel (Florida).

Dr. Anand Kumar

Dr. Kumar’s team found that N95 masks still offered protection after 10 rounds of vaporized hydrogen peroxide decontamination.

UM Today reported on Dr. Kumar’s findings on April 2, 2020, and then noted scientists and media around the world were showing interest in the study the following week.

In the NYT story, Dr. Kumar cautions that N95 masks should not be reprocessed for use without proper equipment, and that N95 masks should be reserved for use by front line personnel.

The NYT notes: 

The public has been advised not to use or try to buy N95 masks because they would be depriving health care workers of lifesaving equipment.

“And if they do, they shouldn’t try decontaminating them,” Dr. Kumar said.

Read the entire NYT story here.



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