NPPTL's resources include staff with world-recognized PPT expertise and facilities specifically equipped to carry out our mission. Staff possess unique expertise and experience in PPT research and development, respiratory protection technology, including metabolic and breathing simulation, open and closed circuit SCBA testing, and respirator testing using particulates, gases, and vapors. To achieve our mission, NPPTL: 1. Conducts work site surveillance of hazards for which PPT and PPE are used to protect workers, along with studies of patterns of PPT use. 2. Conducts laboratory and field research on the development and evaluation of innovative PPT and PPE. 3. Researches and develops criteria, standards, and guidelines relating to PPT performance, quality, reliability and efficacy. 4. Directs and carries out the NIOSH respirator certification program and related laboratory, field, quality, and records activities. 5. Produces and disseminates research findings, technical information, training materials, performance criteria, and recommendations for using PPE to improve worker protection. 6. Develops, studies, and assesses the effectiveness of communications and training approaches and technologies relating to PPT. NPPTL's four scientific focus areas are: 1. Respiratory Protection: Fill gaps in knowledge, methods, and measures for new NIOSH respirator performance, quality, and reliability standards; and provide recommendations for improving respiratory protection for a diverse user population. 2. Ensembles: Use a systems engineering approach for the design, development, evaluation, and integration of new technologies and performance, quality, and reliability standards for PPE ensembles. User communities, such as emergency responders, firefighters, mine workers, and health care workers, will have unique PPE ensembles developed specifically to protect against known occupational hazards. Ensembles will be reviewed frequently for appropriateness to emerging hazards. 3. Human Performance: Conduct studies designed to measure human physiological, biomechanical, cognitive, and exercise performance responses to wearing PPE and PPE ensembles, and then modify the ensembles to improve human performance. 4. Sensors: Develop, evaluate, and integrate effective residual life indicators and predictive models for protective clothing and respirators into PPE ensembles. NPPTL's products and services include: 1. Peer-reviewed scientific research studies, analyses, and reports to fill PPT knowledge gaps. 2. Standards for advanced PPT to assure appropriate system and guidance to workers. 3. Evaluations of technologies and recommendations for use. 4. Approval of respirators meeting NIOSH certification standards. 5. Quality assurance (QA) and compliance investigations triggered by suspected malfunctions of NIOSH-approved respirators. 6. Technical assistance and advice to regulating agencies, leading to improved science-based enforcement standards. 7. Policies for product certifications and standards. 8. Training and education. 9. User guidance documents (safety alerts, guidelines). We strive to make a difference for American workers and emergency responders who rely on the personal protective equipment we are developing to keep them safe and healthy on the job.
The National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236