Both of these aspects yield a test that is not necessarily “worst case” for a surgical mask filter. It is more difficult to fit a half-facepiece respirator (one that covers the mouth and nose only) than a full-facepiece respirator (one that also covers the eyes). We do not fit test either. Therefore, there is no measurable difference in the relative effectiveness of the filtering efficiencies of P100 vs N100 respirators for protection against any particulates, including airborne-transmitted infectious disease. As such, the “advantages” of antimicrobial coated respirators have not been proven or disproven. As a male I am curious at what point facial hair growth impacts this seal. We recommend that you contact your local OSHA office for further guidance about respiratory protection for the 2010-11 seasonal influenza exposures. The Buyer Beware section of the NIOSH Respirator Trusted-Source Information Page provides information on recently-rescinded approvals for various filtering facepiece respirators which were found to be non-conforming and examples of other products that misrepresent NIOSH approval. It did not find a statistically significant difference between groups in incidence of developing laboratory changes suggesting influenza infection (50/212 in the surgical mask group vs. 48/210 in the N95 group, p = 0.86). Will decorating the N95 masks with colored markers compromise their effectiveness? What are the recommendations for the storage of individual respirators that staff use for their shift after placing them in a plastic bag that is labeled with their name, date and time? Respirator fit depends on two important design characteristics: Respirators that operate in a “negative pressure” mode require the wearer to draw air through an air-cleaning device (filter or chemical cartridge) into the facepiece, which creates a pressure inside the respirator that is negative in comparison to that outside the facepiece. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and other partner agencies have regulations governing the use of respirators in workplaces. Would people experience more serious injury if they wear the masks all times then take it off, rather than don’t wear any masks/respirators? These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any I think a stronger emphasis should be put on the educational portion and leave the ‘fit testing’ for the rubber seal PPE (SCBA, half/full mask, etc). Additionally, this recommendation is consistent with the fit test requirements of the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard where they require fit testing of the NIOSH-approved respirator. A “positive pressure” respirator, on the other hand, pushes clean air into the facepiece through the use of a fan or compressor, creating a positive pressure inside the facepiece when compared to the outside. A. 3M Universal N95 Filter Class Industrial Disposable Filter Masks. Is this true? Thank you for your comment on the 2009 blog. They do not fit children and cannot be adapted to properly fit a child. The manufacture and import of N95 respirators is fully controlled by private industries based on market factors. However, N95 respirators do not filter toxic gases, vapors or the smell of smoke. The compliance guide can be found on the OSHA website at: A listing of all NIOSH-approved disposable, or filtering facepiece, respirators is available. ‘Fit’ is measured in the negative pressure mode only. Lisa and Roland say: 11. More specifically, where I spoke, moved my head from side to side or looked down, there was breaches which caused failure.I was told this was acceptable by the Manager of Safety at our Large teaching hospital in Toronto, as Niosh allows a certain failure rate…..I took this question to our Heads of Microbiology/ID and they said that’s fine for things like flu that are droplet, but not for TB and other specific airborne diseases. There is no dependence to use a respirator later than an N99 or N100 filter. Where can I get the detailed standard of the classification (like PDF files)? Some hospitals elect to fit test and train all staff, while others select a subset of staff (e.g., , one strategy could be to include only staff who work in areas that have airborne isolation rooms as well as all respiratory therapists). Read more about our comment policy ». Manufacturers provide guidance about fit testing in their user instructions. They look similar, and they filter a nearly identical percentage of particles—95% versus 94%. Or can I follow the manufacturers instructions? CDC continues to recommend the use of respiratory protection that is at least as protective as a fit-tested NIOSH-approved, disposable N95 respirator for these instances. A: A wet towel or bandana may stop large particles, but not the fine, small ones that can get into the lungs and cause respiratory problems. Some manufacturers specify an expiration date in the user instructions. Can you clarify?”. If reused, what precautions are needed regarding the N 95 respirator during reuse and storage? populations should use an “N95, FFP2, or similar” respirator. Your inquiry states that the devices you are interested in distributing are surgical masks. Skin conditions were reported by some, attributed to extended wear. Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. Filters do NOT act as sieves. My question is whether the difference in performance between the two masks has also been studied for larger particles? Additionally, respirators must be fit tested and subjects must trained in proper donning techniques. Healthcare staff have not been fit tested with a surgical mask over the N95 and as such, the fit of the respirator under these conditions will not have been verified. 2. 3.differential pressure (pressure drop) I would like to see a response to this as well. Reusuable elastomeric air-purifying respirators: Physiological impact on health care workers. when you take the mask off there is a black mark on your face that matches the outline of the mask. Use of barrier precautions by visitors The use of gowns, gloves, or masks by visitors in healthcare settings has not been addressed specifically in the scientific literature. Fit testing is the responsibility of the mask wearer’s employer, not the respirator manufacturer. In studies comparing the performance of surgical mask filters using a standardized airflow, filter performance has been shown to be highly variable. A somewhat frivolous question, but seasonal also. These capture, or filtration, mechanisms are described as follows: In all cases, once a particle comes in contact with a filter fiber, it is removed from the airstream and strongly held by molecular attractive forces. I just want to know, in outpatient settings, without invasive procedures, can a droplet mask be utilized as opposed to the N95 for protection. It may be difficult for first-time users to put an N95 respirator on properly: practice putting it on before an emergency arises. They mentioned about wearing the 3ply mask in opposite way with this argument : a. on normal occasion, the 3ply mask prevent the contaminant from the weare from being released the environment. Thus, when bronchoscopy is performed on a patient not suspected of having an airborne-transmitted infectious disease, the 2007 HICPAC isolation precautions guidance document recommends the use of gown and gloves, plus protection of the eyes, nose, and mouth against splashes and sprays with a face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face, a face mask with attached shield, or a face mask and goggles. 95 refers to the efficiency of the filtration of the respirator or cartridge, meaning it filters at least 95% of 0.3 micrometers, meaning it has a 5% leakage factor. However, to ensure leakage together in the midst of the respirator seal and the slope is not excessive, it is important to use a respirator that has been properly fit tested, regardless of the filter efficiency. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluates product claims and issues clearance to advertise those capabilities for products that are determined to have demonstrated efficacy in the ability to prevent disease. The new CDC guidelines say that healthcare professionals should follow droplet precautions with suspected or confirmed influenza patients. It is very difficult for such particles to be removed once they are collected. Only one type is left in stock now. On the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory homepage you can download “Guidance and Resources for Smoke in the Operating Room (zip file)” which is located under the “Healthcare Workers” section of the page. Others may be sold as “N95” respirators giving the false impression that they are NIOSH approved. This chart from 3M explains the differences between the N95 and “first class” Korean masks. N95 respirators do not provide oxygen so they should never be worn in a confined space with low oxygen levels. They may be labeled as surgical, laser, isolation, dental, or medical procedure masks. The CDC guidance can be found in Interim Guidance on Infection Control Measures for 2009 H1N1 Influenza in Healthcare Settings. Each inpatient AII room should have a private bathroom, controlled ventilation, negative pressure, and air filtration (see Environmental Controls). NIOSH-approved respirators go through a rigorous testing and certification process. The hospital where I work has been doing FIT-testing for every employee since the implementation of the 2009 interim guidelines. Why is my company (a multi-national publicly traded and world recognized manufacturer) recommending to wear N95 masks to their employees in China while health officials in the US are recommending that American’s should not wear N95 masks? The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the use of a NIOSH-certified N95 or better respirator for the protection of healthcare workers who come in direct contact with patients with H1N1. Given that these filters are meant for use over substantial periods for industrial use, can they likewise be used for virus protection for protracted periods of time? If you have specific inquiries, please contact CDC-INFO at or by calling 800-232-4636. More than that, I think we should all take further precautionary measures to ensure that we are healthy overall. What is the likely impact of using tape to seal the edges of a standard surgical mask to the face in an effort to make it more effective? Is data available which would answer the question in order to protect oneself from common respiratory viruses in an outpatient clinical setting is an N95 mask sufficient or would Coffey CC, Lawrence RB, Campbell DL, Zhuang Z, Calvert CA, Jensen PA. [2004] Fitting Characteristics of Eighteen N95 Filtering-Facepiece Respirators.