Texas Tech Laboratory to decontaminate masks for safe reuse during COVID-19

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N95 masks and other small items can be decontaminated up to 20 times.

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech University’s Biological Threat Research Laboratory, part of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH), has partnered with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) to decontaminate some personal protective equipment (PPE), allowing it to be reused safely.

N95 masks and other small items can be decontaminated up to 20 times, substantially extending the lifespan of these items at a time when they are so badly needed and in such short supply, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The service is extended to all health care personnel, first responders and detention centers.

The move is the latest in a series of Texas Tech-TTUHSC initiatives to increase the availability of PPE. Texas Tech faculty and staff have collected more than 137,000 items, including 3,000 N95 masks, for donation to the TTUHSC and other regional health care facilities. The West Texas 3D COVID-19 Relief Consortium, a collaborative group of faculty from Texas Tech and TTUHSC, is working to create 3D-printed face shields and face masks for health care workers as well as ventilators and ventilator components.

The Biological Threat Research Laboratory was the first laboratory in the state of Texas to conduct COVID-19 testing.

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