healthcare respiratory protection resources, evaluation and selection

hazard evaluation and respirator selection

niosh documents

better respiratory equipment using advanced technologies for healthcare employees pdf icon[pdf – 517 kb]
the better respiratory equipment using advanced technologies for healthcare employees (project breathe) working group (wg) is a u.s. federal government interagency effort, initiated by the depart-ment of veterans affairs, whose purpose is to develop a set of consensus recommendations that aim to improve respiratory protective equipment used by healthcare workers (hcws). with representatives from nine (9) federal departments and agencies, this multi-disciplin-ary team had a broad range of expertise, including pan-demic and emergency preparedness, infectious disease medicine and epidemiology, respirator and personal protective equipment policy and regulation, occupa-tional and environmental medicine, respirator and ma-terials science, infection control, respirator physiology and physics and bio-security. the wg was co-chaired by staff from the veterans administration (va) and the centers for disease control and prevention (cdc). this report consists of 28 consensus recommendations for consideration by respirator manufacturers, research organizations, consensus standards development organi-zations, and respirator users and their employers.

hospital respiratory protection program toolkit
this toolkit was developed to assist hospitals in developing and implementing effective respiratory protection programs, with an emphasis on preventing the transmission of aerosol transmissible diseases (atds) to healthcare personnel.

healthcare personnel are paid and unpaid persons who provide patient care in a healthcare setting or support the delivery of healthcare by providing clerical, dietary, housekeeping, engineering, security, or maintenance services. healthcare personnel may potentially be exposed to atd pathogens. aerosols are particles or droplets suspended in air. atds are diseases transmitted when infectious agents, which are suspended or present in particles or droplets, contact the mucous membranes or are inhaled.

implementing hospital respiratory protection programs: strategies from the fieldexternal icon
protecting workers from exposure to all types of respiratory hazards is an important issue for hospitals and other healthcare organizations. in order to address this often overlooked danger, the joint commission and centers for disease control and prevention (cdc), national institute for occupational safety and health (niosh), national personal protective technology laboratory (npptl) have collaborated to develop a new educational monograph designed to assist hospitals in implementing their respiratory protection programs (rpps).

respirator awareness: your health may depend on it
one of the occupational hazards in the healthcare setting is the airborne transmission of certain infectious diseases. the potential of exposure is not limited to physicians, nurses, and support personnel in direct patient care. it extends to those delivering food, cleaning patient rooms, and performing maintenance. anyone working in areas with patients infected with airborne-transmissible diseases is potentially at risk.

respirator evaluation in acute care hospitals study (reach) (2009 – 2010)
niosh identified and evaluated the usage of respiratory protection for influenza exposure among healthcare workers.

guidance for the selection and use of personal protective equipment (ppe) i healthcare settingspdf icon
powerpoint presentation addressing methods to improve personnel safety in the healthcare environment through appropriate use of ppe.

understanding respiratory protection against sars
sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) appears to spread primarily by close person-to-person contact with symptomatic individuals (e.g., persons with fever or respiratory symptoms). sars can be spread by touching the skin of other people or objects contaminated with infectious droplets and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth. contamination occurs when someone with sars coughs or sneezes droplets onto themselves, other people, or nearby surfaces. it also is possible that sars can be spread further through the air by very small particles. this method is called airborne transmission, but investigations to date suggest that this type of transmission is unusual. it also is possible that sars may be spread by other ways that are currently not known.

niosh respirator decision logic
niosh routinely makes recommendations regarding the use of respirators for workers exposed to environments that contain hazardous concentrations of airborne contaminants or oxygen-deficient atmospheres. this document provides industrial hygienists and other professionals knowledgeable in respirator selection with a procedure for selecting suitable classes of respirators for particular concentrations of specific contaminants.

control of smoke from laser/electric surgical procedures
niosh research has shown airborne contaminants generated by these surgical devices can be effectively controlled. two methods of control are recommended to…

waste anesthetic gases – occupational hazards in hospitals
waste anesthetic gases are small amounts of volatile anesthetic gases that leak from the patient’s anesthetic breathing circuit into the air of operating rooms during delivery of anesthesia. these gases may also be exhaled by patients recovering from anesthesia. waste anesthetic gases include both nitrous oxide and halogenated anesthetics such as halothane, enflurane, isoflurane, desflurane, sevoflurane, and methoxyflurane (no longer used in the united states). the halogenated anesthetics are often administered in combination with nitrous oxide. nitrous oxide and some of the halogenated anesthetics may pose a hazard to hospital workers.


niosh reach ii study: understanding and selecting respiratory protection devices (2011-2012)
infographic addressing situations that require respiratory protection and whether an n95 ffr or a surgical mask should be utilized.
pdfpdf icon [445 kb], imageimage icon [1,940 kb]

required labeling of niosh-approved n95 filtering facepiece respirators (2014)
infographic depicting the required labeling for all niosh-approved n95 filtering facepiece respirators.
pdfpdf icon [488 kb], imageimage icon [1,968 kb]