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Respiratory protection against bioaerosols: literature review and research needs.

Authors
Rengasamy-A; Zhuang-Z; BerryAnn-R
Source
Am J Infect Control 2004 Oct; 32(6):345-354
NIOSHTIC No.
20026131
Abstract
Research on respiratory protection against biologic agents is important to address major concerns such as occupational safety and terrorist attack. This review describes the literature on respiratory protection against bioaerosols and identifies research gaps. Respiratory protection is a complex field involving a number of factors, such as the efficiency of respirator filter material; face-piece fitting; and maintenance, storage, and reuse of respirators. Several studies used nonpathogenic microorganisms having physical characteristics similar to that of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to analyze microbial penetration through respirators. Some studies showed that high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and N95 filters provided a higher level of protection than dust/mist (DM) and dust/mist/fume (DMF) filters. Flow rate and relative humidity appear to alter the level of penetration of microorganisms through respirator filters. The relationship between microbial penetration through respirator filters and the aerodynamic diameter, length, or other physical characteristics of microorganisms remains controversial. Whether reaerosolization of bioaerosol particles should be a concern is unclear, given the fact that one study has demonstrated significant reaerosolization of 1- to 5-microm particles loaded onto respirator filters. Respirator maintenance, storage, and decontamination are important factors to be considered when reusing respirators. The respiratory protection against biologic warfare agents such as anthrax in military and civilian situations is described.
Keywords
Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Biological-agents; Occupational-safety-programs; Biological-warfare-agents; Aerosols; Respirators; Air-filters
Contact
Appavoo Rengasamy, PhD, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Bruceton, PA 15236
CODEN
AJICDC
Publication Date
20041001
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
rda5@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2005
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
6
ISSN
0196-6553
NIOSH Division
NPPTL
Source Name
American Journal of Infection Control
State
PA
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