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Reusability of Filtering Facepiece Respirators - FY11

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


  • 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
Biological Aerosol Test Machine

Applicable Standards

  • ASTM E2720 10 / E2721 10
  • NIOSH 42 CFR Part 84
  • ISO TC94/SC15
  • OSHA 1910.134

Key Partners

  • FDA
  • EPA
  • ASTM
  • TSWG (funding)
  • AFRL
  • OSHA



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

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
  • Decontamination method optimization
  • Determine effect of decontamination on FFR fit


  • Q1 Complete BARTS II validation, achieve BSL-2 status to initiate collaboration with CDC/DHQP on influenza/MS2 persistence
  • Q2 Submit multiple donning, steambag, and reaerosolization manuscripts to peer-review journals
  • Q3/4 Submit multiple decontamination & donning, BARTS-III validation, and ASTM manuscripts


  • Manuscripts published in (10), submitted to (5), and in development for (3) peer review journals.
  • Presentations/posters at conferences (12), Standards committee & public meetings (6)
  • Contractor reports (Battelle report completed July 2008)


  • This project has been used by HPA, APIC, and VHA to provide the scientific basis for recommendations and guidance documents related to FFR reuse and handling
  • The methodologies developed in this project were utilized by ASTM for the development of new test methods for assessing the efficacy of decontamination. ASTM E2720-10 and E2721-10
  • Manuscripts from this project have been cited 20 times in the peer-reviewed literature according to Science Citation Index
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