2019-08-01 12:00 - Messages

100 Years of Respiratory Protection History

In 1919, the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) initiated the first respirator certification program. Several months later, on January 15, 1920, this federal body certified the first respirator. To recognize the important milestones of the past 100 years, this webpage documents a general historical overview of respiratory protection research and the evolution of the certification program as undertaken by the U.S. federal government.
Around the world, scientific minds recognized the need for respiratory protection long before the U.S. Bureau of Mines. The history of respiratory protection traces back as far as Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), a Roman philosopher and naturalist, who made use of loose animal bladder skins to filter dust from being inhaled while crushing cinnabar, which is a toxic, mercuric sulfide mineral used at the time for pigmentation in decorations. Many centuries later, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) recommended the use of wet cloths over the mouth and nose as a form of protection against inhaling harmful agents (Spelce et al., “History,” 2018; Cohen and Birkner, 2012).
Further scientific inquiry and discovery led to the use of early atmosphere-supplying respirators. While ancient divers used hoses and tubes for supplied air, seventeenth century scientists added bellows to these devices as a way of providing positive pressure breathing. Although science has Pliny the Elder, photo courtesy of Shutterstock made advancements over time, the need for proper respiratory protection became increasingly apparent. In the 1700s, Bernadino Ramazzini, known as the father of occupational medicine, described the inadequacy of respiratory protection against the hazards of arsenic, gypsum, lime, tobacco, and silica (Spelce et al., “History,” 2018; Cohen and Birkner, 2012).

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/Respiratory-Protection-history.html

ASTM F1506 - Standard Performance Specification for Flame Resistant and Electric Arc Rated Protective Clothing Worn by Workers Exposed to Flames and Electric Arcs

This performance specification covers the design characteristics and associated test methods that relate specifically to the flame resistance of textile materials used in the fabrication of basic protection level occupational apparel worn by electrical workers who are exposed to momentary electric arc and related thermal hazards such as exposure to open flame and radiant heat. When evaluated in accordance with the test procedures enlisted herein, knit fabrics and woven fabrics of different fabric weights shall conform to individually specified values of the following properties: colorfastness such as laundering shade change, dry-cleaning shade change, and dimensional change; initial flammability characteristics and flammability characteristics after 25 washes/dry-cleaning such as char length and afterflame time; and arc test rating. Knit fabrics shall additionally be tested and adhere accordingly to bursting strength characteristics. Conversely, woven fabrics shall also be tested and adhere accordingly to breaking load, tear resistance, and seam slippage characteristics.

Source: https://www.astm.org/Standards/F1506.htm

ASTM F2100 - Standard Specification for Performance of Materials Used in Medical Face Masks

This specification covers the classifications, performance requirements, and test methods for the materials used in the construction of medical face masks that are used in health care services such as surgery and patient care. Medical face mask material performance is based on testing for bacterial filtration efficiency, differential pressure, sub-micron particulate filtration efficiency, resistance to penetration by synthetic blood, and flammability. This specification does not address all aspects of medical face mask design and performance, the effectiveness of medical face mask designs as related to the barrier and breathability properties, and respiratory protection, which may be necessary for some health care services.

Source: https://www.astm.org/Standards/F2100.htm

NF EN 13274 - Appareils de protection respiratoire - Méthodes d'essai

Partie 7 : détermination de la pénétration des filtres à particules - Appareils de protection respiratoire
Le présent document spécifie le mode opératoire utilisé pour vérifier la pénétration des filtres à particules pour appareils de protection respiratoire.

Source: https://www.boutique.afnor.org/norme/nf-en-13274-7/appareils-de-protection-respiratoire-methodes-d-essai-partie-7-determination-de-la-penetration-des-filtres-a-particules/article/913982/fa188013

A critical review of the literature on comfort of hearing protection devices

Definition of comfort and identification of its main attributes for earplug types
Objective: This article presents a comprehensive literature review of past works addressing Hearing Protection Devices (HPD) comfort and to put them into perspective regarding a proposed holistic multidimensional construct of HPD comfort.
Design: Literature review.
Study samples: Documents were hand searched and Internet searched using “PubMed”, “Web of Science”, “Google Scholar”, “ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Professional”, “Scopus” or “Google” search engines. While comfort constructs and measurement methods are reviewed for both earplugs and earmuff types, results and analyses are provided for the earplug type only.
Results: This article proposed a multidimensional construct of HPD comfort based on four dimensions: physical, functional, acoustical and psychological. Seen through the prism of the proposed holistic construct of HPD comfort, the main comfort attributes of earplugs have been identified for each comfort dimension.
Conclusions: The observed lack of consensus on the definition of HPD comfort in the scientific community makes it difficult to prioritise the importance of comfort attributes yet necessary for future design of comfortable earplugs.

Source: Doutres, O., Sgard, F., Terroir, J., Perrin, N., Jolly, C., Gauvin, C. et Negrini, A. (2019). International journal of audiology.

ASTM D8248 - Standard Terminology for Smart Textiles

This terminology standard covers terms related to smart textiles, technical textiles, electronic textiles, and wearable electronics including fibers, yarns, and end products.

Source: https://www.astm.org/Standards/D8248.htm

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