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Respirator and surgical mask efficacy from cough aerosols - FY 11

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


  • Determine efficacy of FFR and surgical masks when exposed to aerosols generated by a cough simulator
Cough Generation testing device diagram

Applicable Standards

  • Polices and procedures

Key Partners

  • HELD - NPPTL Collaboration
  • Other Federal Agencies (OSHA/EPA/FDA)


  • Safety Professionals
  • Other Government Agencies
  • Other Research Organizations

Project Scope

  • Controlled studies are needed to address the efficacy of surgical masks and FFR use in preventing transmission of influenza and provide healthcare recommendations


  • Part 1 (NPPTL lead) Measure filtration performance of surgical masks and FFR (FY2008-2009) (Complete)
  • Part 2 (HELD lead) Close proximity simulation experiments (FY2009-FY2010) (Complete)
  • Part 3 (HELD lead) Examination room simulation experiments (FY2010-FY2011) (in process)
  • NORA project extended through FY13


  • Establish greater understanding of surgical mask and FFR efficacy when exposed to cough aerosols
  • Research based recommendations for effective respiratory protection strategies in healthcare settings
  • Technology Transfer will primarily be through technical presentations and peer reviewed publications


  • Improved worker respiratory protection as a result of updated guidelines/recommendations for use of FFR and surgical masks
Page last updated: August 15, 2011
Page last reviewed: August 15, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory