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A Pilot Study of Nanoparticle Levels and Field Evaluation of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators on Construction Sites
Little attention has been paid to the generated submicron ultrafine and nanoparticles and their exposure levels on construction jobsites. This information is needed because cytotoxicity of nanoparticles is well known now. In addition, the performance of particulate respirators generally used by construction workers has never been evaluated in field conditions against ultrafine and nano-sized particles. We hypothesized that workers on construction jobsites are exposed to high levels of nanoparticles and current NIOSH-recommended N95 respirators may not provide them adequate protection against aerosolized...
ASTM F2100 - 11(2018) - 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...
Reliability of N95 respirators for respiratory protection before, during, and after nursing procedures
Background: The adequate fit of an N95 respirator is important for health care workers to reduce the transmission of airborne infectious diseases in the clinical setting. This study aimed to evaluate whether adequately sealed N95 respirators may provide consistent protection for the wearer while performing nursing procedures. Methods: Participants were a group of nursing students (N = 120). The best fitting respirator for these participants was identified from the 3 common models, 1860, 1860S, and 1870+ (3M), using the quantitative fit test (QNFT) method. Participants performed nursing...
Protection respiratoire. Réaliser des essais d'ajustement
Lors du processus de sélection d'un appareil de protection respiratoire, il est indispensable de s'assurer que le modèle choisi est adapté à son porteur en réalisant un essai d'ajustement. Cette brochure décrit l'objectif des essais d'ajustement, les différentes méthodes d'essai existantes, le rôle de l'opérateur d'essai d'ajustement. Elle précise les critères permettant de considérer l'étanchéité au visage comme satisfaisante. Source: http://www...
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...
Évaluation d’une politique obligatoire de vaccination contre l’influenza ou de port d’un masque pour les travailleurs de la santé
L'objectif d'une telle politique est de réduire le fardeau de l'influenza transmis par les travailleurs non vaccinés aux patients et de prévenir les éclosions dans les milieux de soins. Les prémisses sous-jacentes à cette politique sont que ce fardeau est important et que la vaccination des travailleurs contre l'influenza ou le port du masque le réduira substantiellement. Il est difficile d'obtenir, sur une base volontaire, des couvertures vaccinales de plus de 70 % chez les travailleurs des hôpitaux de soins aigus, alors...
Évaluation de l’efficacité d'un filtre N95 contre des particules ultrafines, dont les nanoparticules, en mode de débits d'air constant et cyclique simulant la respiration des travailleurs
On trouve des particules ultrafines (PUF), soit des particules dont le diamètre (Dp) est inférieur à 100 nm, dans de nombreux milieux de travail industriels, où leur inhalation peut, à long terme, causer de graves problèmes de santé. Dans certains contextes, les mesures d'ingénierie et les contrôles administratifs sont insuffisants pour protéger adéquatement les travailleurs contre l'exposition aux PUF. Un dispositif de protection personnel est alors requis, et les appareils de protection respiratoire à pièce...
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...
Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks in protecting health care workers from acute respiratory infection
A systematic review and meta-analysis Background: Conflicting recommendations exist related to which facial protection should be used by health care workers to prevent transmission of acute respiratory infections, including pandemic influenza. We performed a systematic review of both clinical and surrogate exposure data comparing N95 respirators and surgical masks for the prevention of transmissible acute respiratory infections. Methods: We searched various electronic databases and the grey literature for relevant studies published from January 1990 to December 2014. Randomized controlled trials...
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...
New NIOSH Study Supports the OSHA Annual Fit Testing Requirements for Filtering Facepiece Respirators
Results of a recently completed NIOSH study confirm the necessity of the current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) respirator fit testing requirement, both annually and when physical changes have occurred. The study's conclusions emphasize that respirator users who have lost more than 20 pounds should be re-tested to be sure that the current size and model of respirator in use still properly fits. For over three years, NIOSH researchers followed a cohort of 229 subjects measuring N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) fit and physical characteristics (e.g., face size, weight...
Disinfection of personal protective equipment for management of Ebola patients
Bessesen et al highlight the potential utility of reusable elastomeric face masks to bypass the risk of N95 respirator shortages during a respiratory illness pandemic and stress the importance of efficacious disinfection to reuse facial protective equipment safely.1 We would like to take the opportunity to underline the need that awareness on personal protective equipment (PPE) stocks is included in any pandemic preparedness plan. The demand for PPE must be established on the basis of the health care facility's role, defined by public health authorities to create a coordinated network approach...
The effect of wearer stubble on the protection given by Filtering Facepieces Class 3 (FFP3) and Half Masks
HSE Inspectors routinely come across workers with various degrees of stubble growth using respiratory protective masks, despite guidance to the contrary. This research studied the effect of 0-7 days stubble growth on the protection given by FFP3 filtering facepieces and half masks. Fifteen male volunteers took part, each testing four masks. For most, three different design FFP3 and one half mask were tested, selected from seven models of FFP3 and 2 half masks. Fit tests were carried out immediately after shaving and repeated six times during the following week, without further shaving. Results...
Review of fit test pass criteria for Filtering Facepieces Class 3 (FFP3) respirators
Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is available in a range of types which often include a tight-fitting facepiece which must fit the wearer's face well for the RPE to work effectively. Good fit must be demonstrated by fit testing. In this study, 25 volunteer test subjects wearing tight-fitting FFP3 (randomly selected from 9 different models) underwent four fit tests (Bitrex qualitative taste test, Portacount particle counting with and without the N95 companion technology and the laboratory chamber method), in random order, according to methodology given in HSE guidance 282/28. The selected...
The Use and Effectiveness of Powered Air Purifying Respirators in Health Care
Workshop Summary Protecting 18 million United States health care workers from infectious agents—known and unknown—involves a range of occupational safety and health measures that include identifying and using appropriate protective equipment (CDC, 2014a). The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa have called attention to the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) in different health care settings and have raised questions about how best to ensure appropriate and effective use of different kinds of PPE (such as respirators), not only...
Health Care Workers’ Reported Discomfort While Wearing Filtering Face-Piece Respirators
Filtering face-piece respirators (FFRs) are one method of protecting health care workers from airborne particles; however, research suggests adherence is poor, perhaps due to worker discomfort. Three separate focus groups were conducted at two Veterans Affairs health care facilities. Seventeen health care workers who reported using FFRs as part of their job duties were in the focus groups. Focus group transcripts were coded using qualitative descriptive coding techniques. Participants described experiences of discomfort and physical mask features they believed contributed to discomfort. Participants...
Recommended Guidance for Extended Use and Limited Reuse of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Healthcare Settings
This document recommends practices for extended use and limited reuse of NIOSH-certified N95 filtering facepiece respirators (commonly called “N95 respirators”). The recommendations are intended for use by professionals who manage respiratory protection programs in healthcare institutions to protect health care workers from job-related risks of exposure to infectious respiratory illnesses. Source: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hcwcontrols/RecommendedGuidanceExtUse.html
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, http://KnowIts.NIOSH.gov . 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 : http://www.aiha.org/publications-and-resources/TheSynergist/AIHANews/Pages/New-AIHA-Fact-Sheets-Respiratory-Protection-for-Health-Care-Workers,-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...
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...
Are Health Care Workers Protected?
Background : The proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health care workers (HCWs) is vital in preventing the spread of infection and has implications for HCW safety. Methods: An observational study was performed in 11 hospitals participating in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program between January 7 and March 30, 2011. Using a standardized data collection tool, observers recorded HCWs selecting and removing PPE and performing hand hygiene on entry into the rooms of febrile respiratory illness patients. Results : The majority of HCWs put on gloves (88%, n = 390),...
Exposure to high temperature environments can result in the thermal degradation or melting of a Self- Contained Breathing Apparatus facepiece lens
During the investigation of firefighter fatalities that occurred from 2002 to 2011, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found evidence of thermal degradation of facepiece lenses that may have been a contributing factor in three fatalities. In the fatality cases, the firefighters were likely still “on air” at the time they were overrun by extreme thermal conditions; all had their Self- Contained Breathing Apparatus ( SCBA) facepiece still in place; all had SCBA facepieces that displayed extensive damage consistent with thermal conditions that likely exceeded...
Intolerance to the thermal effects of PFMs leads to decreased use and concomitant decreased protection for the user
A computerized literature search was undertaken for the period 1950–2010, references selected for inclusion in the review were those that included information relating to heat, comfort, and tolerance associated with the use of PFMs. The use of protective facemasks (PFMs) negatively impacts respiratory and dermal mechanisms of human thermoregulation through impairment of convection, evaporation, and radiation processes. The relatively minor reported increases in core temperature directly attributable to the wearing of PFMs suggest that associated perceptions of increased body temperature may...
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