CDC logoSafer Healthier People CDC HomeCDC SearchCDC Health Topics A-Z
NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Skip navigation links Search NIOSH  |  NIOSH Home  |  NIOSH Topics  |  Site Index  |  Databases and Information Resources  |  NIOSH Products  |  Contact Us

Reusability of Filtering Facepiece Respirators-FY08


  • Examine the efficacy and effect of simple decontamination procedures for filtering facepiece respirators (FFR)
  • Examine the risks associated with handling an FFR exposed to viral aerosols
Man wearing Filtering Face piece Respirator (F F R) and Institute of Medicine (I O M) document cover

Applicable Standards

  • ASTM F23.3
  • 42 CFR
  • ISO TC94/SC15

Key Partners

  • FDA
  • EPA
  • ASTM


  • Healthcare workers
  • Hospital administrators
  • Policy makers
  • General public

Project Scope

  • Select Appropriate Decontamination Methods for Testing
  • Effect of Decontamination on FFR Filtration Performance
  • Test Protocol for Measuring the Efficacy of Decontamination
  • Measurement of the Viability of Viruses Trapped on FFR
  • Measurement of the Reaerosolization of Trapped Viruses
  • Effect of Decontamination on Respirator Fit
  • Produce Guidance Documents


  • Q1 Complete Task 1.2 study on changes in filtration performance after decon on two FFR models
  • Q2 Submit draft test method to ASTM
  • Q3 Task 1.3 study on changes in filtration performance after decon on 9 FFR models
  • Q4 Complete initial study on survivability of MS2 on FFRs and effectiveness of antimicrobial FFRs
  • Q4 Submit fit test (Task 6) protocol to HSRB


  • Manuscripts published in peer review journals (1 completed to date)
  • Presentations to stakeholders or conferences
  • Standards committee meetings & public meetings


  • This project will provide the scientific basis for NIOSH recommendations related to the reusability of filtering facepiece respirators
  • ASTM standardized test practices for measurement of decontamination efficacy of filter media and respirators
Page last updated: August 08, 2008
Page last reviewed: August 08, 2008
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)