The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has published new respirator information and guidance:
- Understanding the Use of Imported Non-NIOSH-Approved Respirators
The CDC and FDA have determined additional respirator options to protect healthcare workers during the pandemic when respirator shortages are reported across the nation. If a healthcare facility needs more filtering facepiece respirators, employers should understand these options. One to consider in a time of shortage is non-NIOSH approved respirators manufactured internationally. This NIOSH Science Blog provides information on how to determine the reliability of imported respirators, NIOSH’s efforts to assess imported respirators, and how to tell if a respirator is NIOSH-approved.
- NIOSH Respirator Assessments to Support the COVID-19 Response: Assessment Results
NIOSH has begun sampling respirators received from other countries and from stockpiles, along with respirators that have gone through decontamination cycles (without the respirator being contaminated). These preliminary assessments will inform respirator users whether the products meet similar filtration performance requirements as those for NIOSH-approved N95 respirators. Results of this testing are now being posted to the NIOSH website and include a summary and report for each model tested.
- Powered Air-Purifying Respirators and Elastomeric Respirators Guidance
CDC has released guidance for optimizing the supply of powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) and for using reusable elastomeric particulate respirators. The guidance aims to provide respiratory protection options to healthcare practitioners as a component of a formally developed and implemented written respiratory protection program. These guidance materials address conventional, contingency, and crisis surge use and maintenance practices. They will assist respiratory protection program managers, health officials, and other program leaders responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures to prevent pathogen transmission, including those developed to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.