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Metabolic Evaluation of N95 Respirator Use With Surgical Masks -FY10

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

Current Information can be found at: Metabolic Evaluation of N95 Respirator Use With Surgical Masks - FY11


  • This project will investigate the recommendation by the IOM to examine the effects of the placement of a surgical mask over a N95 particulate filtering respirator using the Automated Breathing and Metabolic Simulator. A subset of respirators and surgical mask will be tested to compare with a companion field study by the Dept of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Testing masks with Automated Breathing and Metabolic Simulator

Applicable Standards

  • Standard development for ISO and ANSI

Key Partners

  • VA


  • CDC & IOM for guideline recommendations
  • First responders
  • Health care providers / first receivers / hospitals
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Public, at large

Project Scope

  • Select N95 respirators & surgical masks based on the US Strategic National Stockpile and the VA study
  • Perform tests on each model and type (cup, cup with fit enhancements, cone/duckbill, flat-fold), medium size (or M/L or universal), with and without exhalation valves, with and without surgical masks = 291 tests.
  • Perform tests on same respirator models and surgical mask as those used in VA field study = 12 tests.


  • FY09 100% data collection completed and statistical analysis of data completed
  • Q2 Begin manuscript
  • Q3 Submit manuscript for internal peer review
  • Q4 Submit manuscript to journal for publication


  • Manuscripts published or submitted to peer review journals
  • Presentations at conferences (1 abstract submitted to date)


  • Data are used to consider revisions or support NIOSH / CDC guidance on respiratory protection for healthcare workers, and subsequent test protocols may be considered in the development of ISO and ANSI standards
Page last updated: April 5, 2010
Page last reviewed: April 5, 2010
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory