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NIOSH Respiratory Diseases Research Program

Evidence Package for the National Academies' Review 2006-2007

11.4 Web mail and X4000 Calls

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Issue

Since 2003, the respirator program has provided users and other interested parties an opportunity to inquire about respirator approval, selection, and use issues using Web mail and telephone inquiry communication channels.

Approach

NIOSH accesses the Web mail questions daily and is available to respond to X4000 calls during normal business hours five days per week.

Outputs

A total number of 2,462 Web mail and X4000 calls were responded to over the last three years. Most Web mail responses were provided via email within three days of receiving the request.

The majority of questions responded to included respirator selection and use (200), certified equipment list (87), CBRN respirators (125), new respirator manufacturer application questions (86), respirator fit testing (93), bioaerosols (21)  and other types of questions (119) dealing with issues such as respirator field problems, media inquiries, application status, users notices, pulmonary function requirements for wearing a respirator, policies, private labels, in door air quality, hot environments, OSHA Regulation requirements, other PPE use and requirements, filter capabilities, respirator shelf life, third party test laboratories, use of un-approved components etc.

Most X4000 information calls were provided immediately or via return call within one day.

The majority of questions replied to included respirator selection and use (488), certified equipment list (99), CBRN respirators (158), new respirator manufacturer questions (34), respirator fit testing (81), supplied air respirators (44), standard test procedures (30), fire service ( 18), other types of questions (158) dealing with issues such as OSHA regulations, Policies, respirator shelf life, application status, other PPE use, training, respirator re-use, third party test laboratories, PAPRs, analytical methods, cartridge change schedules, chemotherapeutic drugs spills and cleanup, eye protection, foot protection, OSHA Medical clearance, NFPA test requirements, Grade D Air requirements, cleaning and sanitizing respirators, air compressor systems, use of accessory components, interchanging approved cylinders, etc,

Outcomes

 The respirator users are provided near real time responses to inquiries thereby increasing the confidence in NIOSH and increasing preparedness.

 What’s Ahead

The respirator program is establishing a list of FAQs that will provide users with a quick reference for commonly asked questions.