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Market surveillance of FFP3 disposable respirators
Filtering Facepieces (FFPs) are disposable Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) for protection against dusts, particles and aerosols. They are often referred to as 'disposable dust masks', are widely used, and generally require no cleaning or maintenance. They are available in three classes: FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3, with the higher numbers corresponding to better filtering efficiency. As with all types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sold in the UK, they must comply with the EU PPE Directive 89/686/EEC. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer or person placing the RPE on the European...
Comparison of two quantitative fit-test methods using N95 filtering facepiece respirators
Current regulations require annual fit testing before an employee can wear a respirator during work activities. The goal of this research is to determine whether respirator fit measured with two TSI Portacount instruments simultaneously sampling ambient particle concentrations inside and outside of the respirator facepiece is similar to fit measured during an ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter quantitative fit test. Sixteen subjects (ten female; six male) were recruited for a range of facial sizes. Each subject donned an N95 filtering facepiece respirator, completed two fit tests in random...
Performance of Facepiece Respirators and Surgical Masks Against Surgical Smoke
Simulated Workplace Protection Factor Study Objective: Surgical smoke generated during electrocautery contains toxins which may cause adverse health effects to operating room (OR) personnel. The objective of this study was to investigate the performance of surgical masks (SMs), which are routinely used in ORs, more efficient N95 surgical mask respirator (SMRs) and N100 filtering facepiece respirator (FFRs), against surgical smoke. Methods: Ten subjects were recruited to perform surgical dissections on animal tissue in a simulated OR chamber, using a standard electrocautery device, generating surgical...
NIOSH Updates Software for Estimating Respirator Service Life
The NIOSH MultiVapor™ tool has been updated and posted to the web. MultiVapor™ is a computer tool for estimating breakthrough times and service lives of air-purifying respirator cartridges for removing toxic organic vapors from breathed air. It can also be used for larger filters and for carbon beds of any size prepared for laboratory studies. MultiVapor™ 2.2.3 replaces the 2.1.3 version. Source:
N95 Respirators use during pregnancy
Findings from recent research Recent NIOSH research has shed some light on the topic of the safety of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) use by pregnant workers. Women make up approximately one-half of the US work force. At any given time, about 10% of those female workers of child-bearing age (15–44 years of age) will be pregnant. Because many women are employed in occupations that require the use of protective facemasks, such as medical/surgical masks and FFR, NIOSH conducted research into the safety of FFR use while pregnant. The most frequently used FFR in the US is the N95 FFR...
Optimisation de SATURISK, l’outil de calcul du temps de service des cartouches de protection respiratoire contre les vapeurs organiques
L'exposition des travailleurs aux solvants, ou plus largement aux vapeurs organiques, doit être maîtrisée sinon maintenue en deçà des valeurs limites réglementaires. Lorsque l'ensemble des mesures administratives, d'ingénierie et de protection collective ne permet pas d'atteindre des niveaux d'exposition sans danger pour la santé, les travailleurs concernés doivent être équipés d'appareils de protection respiratoire (APR). En l'absence de situations de danger immédiat pour la vie...
Workplace performance of a loose-fitting powered air purifying respirator during nanoparticle synthesis
Nanoparticle (particles with diameter ≤100 nm) exposure is recognized as a potentially harmful size fraction for pulmonary particle exposure. During nanoparticle synthesis, the number concentrations in the process room may exceed 10 × 106 cm−3. During such conditions, it is essential that the occupants in the room wear highly reliable high-performance respirators to prevent inhalation exposure. Here we have studied the in-use program protection factor (PPF) of loose-fitting powered air purifying respirators, while workers were coating components with TiO2 or Cu x O y nanoparticles...
Do We Need to Challenge Respirator Filters With Biological Aerosols?
The purpose of this NIOSH Science Blog is to explain what is currently known about an important aspect of respirator filtration. For decades, respirator researchers have been asked whether filters need to be tested with aerosols similar to those encountered in the environment (Figure 1). Common sense suggests that viruses or bacteria are collected differently from engineered nanoparticles, silica dusts, oil mists or other types of workplace aerosols. Source:
NIOSH Publication Raises Respirator Awareness among Health Care Workers
A new NIOSH publication provides health care workers with information on respiratory protection products and stresses the importance of using NIOSH-approved respirators. The publication includes descriptions and images of N95 filtering facepiece respirators and surgical N95 respirators, and explains how employees can verify whether the respirators they use are genuinely certified and approved by NIOSH. The agency also lists several other resources for information on respirators, including NIOSH’s “respirator trusted-source information” page, . NIOSH reminds...
Performance Evaluation of Selected N95 Respirators and Surgical Masks When Challenged with Aerosolized Endospores and Inert Particles
The objective of this study was to assess how the relative efficiency of N95 respirators and surgical masks might vary with different challenge aerosols, utilizing a standardized manikin head form as a surrogate to human participation. A Collision nebulizer aerosolized B. anthracis Sterne strain endospores and polystyrene latex (PSL) particles to evaluate 11 models of N95 respirators and surgical masks. An automated breathing simulator, calibrated to normal tidal volume and active breathing rate, mimicked human respiration. A manikin head form with N95 respirators or surgical masks, and manikin...
New AIHA Fact Sheets: Respiratory Protection for Health Care Workers, General Public
The AIHA Respiratory Protection Committee recently developed fact sheets on respiratory protection for reducing disease transmission among health care workers and the general public. Health care workers in particular can be exposed to a variety of infectious agents while performing their duties, and respirators are frequently used to provide protection from exposure to these airborne infectious agents. Source :,-General-Public.aspx
The Use of Respirators to Reduce Inhalation of Airborne Biological Agents
Respiratory protection devices are an important element of an overall contagion control strategy when infectious biological aerosols are potentially present in an occupational environment. In health care facilities, N95 class FFR certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are typically the minimum class of respiratory protection recommended. In contrast, studies exist that suggest that surgical masks normally used in health care settings may be equally effective in reducing disease transmission. The “respirator versus surgical mask” debate continues...
Prémédia, un logiciel pour évaluer l'efficacité des appareils de protection respiratoire
Certains appareils de protection respiratoire (APR) sont équipés de cartouches absorbantes dont l'efficacité est limitée dans le temps. Cette durée de fonctionnement dépend du type de cartouche ainsi que des conditions dans lesquelles travaille l'utilisateur. Dans l'optique d'aider ce dernier à estimer le temps d'utilisation d'une cartouche, l'INRS a mis au point Prémédia, logiciel de calcul prédictif disponible gratuitement en ligne. Source :
Evaluation of N95 Respirator Use with a Surgical Mask Cover: Effects on Breathing Resistance and Inhaled Carbon Dioxide
Objective: For pandemic influenza outbreaks, the Institute of Medicine has recommended using a surgical mask cover (SM) over N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) among healthcare workers as one strategy to avoid surface contamination of the FFR which would extend its efficacy and reduce the threat of exhausting FFR supplies. The objective of this investigation was to measure breathing air quality and breathing resistance when using FFRs with US Food and Drug Administration-cleared SM and without SM. Methods : Thirty National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved FFR...
HEPA Filtration
ASTM International Committee F11 on Vacuum Cleaners has formed a new task group to develop proposed standards for high efficiency particulate air filtration, typically known as HEPA. Source :
La protection respiratoire contre les bioaérosols
Les risques d'exposition à des microorganismes aéroportés ou bioaérosols infectieux suscitent de plus en plus d'intérêt pour quiconque a un rôle à jouer en matière de santé et sécurité au travail (SST). Cet intérêt est encore plus marqué lorsque vient le temps de choisir et d'utiliser une protection respiratoire contre les bioaérosols infectieux. L'objectif de cet article est de permettre de choisir et d'utiliser des appareils de protection respiratoire (APR) pour tous...
Développement de procédure de mesure de l'efficacité des filtres N95 à capturer les nanoparticules
La croissance phénoménale des produits nanotechnologiques soulève des inquiétudes quant à l’exposition humaine aux nanoparticules ainsi produites, lesquelles peuvent poser des risques pour la santé et la sécurité des travailleurs. Outre l’élimination à la source ou la diminution de l’exposition, la ventilation, locale ou générale, et la protection personnelle, en particulier respiratoire, sont les moyens de contrôle à privilégier dans ce contexte. Or, le bon fonctionnement de...
Outil d'estimation de la durée d'utilisation d'un adsorbant
Outil d'estimation de la durée d'utilisation d'un adsorbant MARSTEAU S., et coll. L'estimation de la durée de vie des média utilisés pour épurer un air pollué est une question fréquemment posée dont la réponse est rarement aisée, notamment pour le domaine des appareils de protection respiratoire (APR). Un outil de calcul informatique a été développé à partir d'un modèle empirique reconnu, basé sur l'équation de Wheeler-Jonas et d'un certain nombre...
Appareils de protection respiratoire et bioaérosols
Quelle est l'efficacité des médias filtrants ? Depuis le milieu des années 80, une succession de menaces sanitaires (tuberculose, SRAS, bioterrorisme, pandémie grippale) conduisent les scientifiques à mener des études sur les moyens de protection respiratoire destinés aux soignants et aux autres travailleurs exposés à des bioaérosols. En s'appuyant sur les résultats de ces travaux, cet article répond aux questions souvent posées par les prescripteurs ou les utilisateurs de masques quant à leur...
NIOSH-Approved Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators
The N95 respirator is the most common of the seven types of particulate filtering facepiece respirators. This product filters at least 95% of airborne particles but is not resistant to oil. There are some products that are approved by NIOSH as an N95 respirator and also cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a surgical mask. These products are referred to as Surgical N95 Respirators and are indicated with the Model Number/Product Line followed by (FDA) appearing in a RED FONT. Source:
Preventing Flu Outbreaks in Health Care Workers
Surgical Masks vs. N95 Respirators Surgical masks appear to be no worse than, and nearly as effective as, N95 respirators in preventing influenza in health care workers, according to a study released by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA). Source: Résumé de l'article:
N-95 Respirators and Surgical Masks
With the advent of a novel H1N1 influenza outbreak in spring 2009 and the expectation of a second wave during the 2009–2010 flu season, there has been considerable interest in the use of surgical masks (facemasks) and respirators as infection control measures. Although their appearance is often similar, respirators are designed and engineered for distinctly different functions than surgical masks. The amount of exposure reduction offered by respirators and surgical masks differs. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...
Respiratory Protection for Terrorist Threats and Other Emergencies
This September 11th marks eight years since the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center. At this time we honor those who gave their lives and those who risked their lives and their health in rescue and clean-up efforts. NIOSH played an important role in addressing workers' needs in the aftermath of the attacks. A summary of the efforts can be found on the NIOSH World Trade Center topic page. While our work, specifically with respirator certification, prepared us well to assist the responders, many areas for improvement were highlighted during the response and subsequent interviews with...

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