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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...
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...
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
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...

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