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Richard  Peltier - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Richard Peltier Richard  Peltier

Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Richard Peltier's research looks at how poor air quality affects human health.


Expertise (5)

Air Quality

Aerosol filtration

Face Masks

Environmental Health

Air Pollution and Health


Richard Peltier heads the Aerosol Lab at UMass Amherst which investigates the chemical components of ambient particulate matter that have a significant effect on human health. His findings on the protective properties of face masks as protection against air pollution have been widely reported.

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Professor Richard Peltier Explains Mask Research Richard Peltier, a UMass Amherst Scientist, Works to Test Medical Face Masks for Reuse Richard Peltier talks about Air Pollution on WGBY | Connecting Point


Education (3)

Georgia Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Atmospheric Chemistry

Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health: Masters of Public Health, Public Health

University of Massachusetts: B.S., Biology

Media Coverage (7)

Pollution's fatal threat gains urgency after 9 million died in one year

NBC News  online


Richard Peltie comments on a newly-published report showing that air, water and toxic chemical pollution is responsible for around 9 million premature deaths each year, or one in six globally, on a par with deaths from smoking.

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The Flaming Lips Performed to People in Literal Bubbles. Is It Safer?

The New York Times  online


Richard Peltier comments about the safety of individual bubbles being used by audience and band members during recent concerts by the Flaming Lips.

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UMass study shows certain decontamination methods might not be safest for N95 masks

WHDH  tv


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 “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.”

Richard Peltier

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Questions mount over mask decontamination machine once hailed as a game-changer

The Boston Globe  print


“It actually kind of blows my mind," Peltier said. "There are lots of people who are worried about wearing these things . . . At the same time, you have these corporate entities who are making decisions on what’s safe for somebody to wear, really in the absence of sound data.”

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How to Donate Your N95 Masks to New York Doctors

The New Yotk Times  print


Hospitals in New York and other coronavirus hot spots “are running in short supply of N95 masks,” said Richard E. Peltier, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Hospitals have been conserving masks or reusing them to make them last. “So we’re playing a game of roulette,” Mr. Peltier said.

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Coronavirus Prompts Hospitals to Find Ways to Reuse Masks Amid Shortages

The Wall Street Journal  print


Richard Peltier, a health sciences professor at the University of Massachusetts, is investigating whether N95 masks can be reused by medical personnel.

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UMass Study Shows N95 Face Masks Can Be Reused After Sterilization

New England Public Radio  radio


UMass Amherst scientist Richard Peltier says he's shown that a high-grade medical mask — often considered disposable — can be sterilized and re-used at least once.

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Publications (1)

There’s no reason not to wear a mask — and still plenty of reasons to wear one

The Washington Post

Richard Peltier


Richard Peltier, writes a column about the benefits of continuing to wear a mask to protect against COVID-19 and why he chooses to still wear one. Peltier says “it is not a sign of weakness to wear a mask but a sign of compassion for others. It is not a political statement; it is one based in science.”

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