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Respirator Trusted-Source Information

Section 2: Use of NIOSH-Approved Respirators

Information sources on how to implement the appropriate use of respirators in the workplace. This section also contains a listing of recently revoked approvals as well as related User Notices.

ADVISORY: Watch for respirators misrepresented as NIOSH-approved! See the misrepresentation section.


Respirator Fit Testing

  1. What it is fit testing?
  2. Fit Test Procedures
  3. OSHA Respiratory Fit Testing video


Respirator Safety

OSHA Respirator Safety Video (click on link and scroll down page to training)
Respirator Safety. Donning (Putting on) and Doffing (Taking off) and User Seal Checks. U.S. Department of Labor Video, (2009, December 16). This video is available in English and Spanish and is available for downloading.

OSHA Voluntary Use of Respirators video

OSHA Respiratory Protection Training Requirements video

Medical Evaluations for Workers Who Use Respirators video


Respirator User Notices

Respirator User Notices


Buyer Beware

Respirator Awareness: Your Health May Depend On It
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-138 (June 2013) Español
One of the occupational hazards in the healthcare setting is the airborne transmission of certain infectious diseases. The potential of exposure is not limited to physicians, nurses, and support personnel in direct patient care. It extends to those delivering food, cleaning patient rooms, and performing maintenance. Anyone working in areas with patients infected with airborne-transmissible diseases is potentially at risk.

OSHA Counterfeit and Altered Respirators: The Importance of NIOSH Certification video


Misrepresentation of NIOSH Approval

There have been reports of products using promotional materials that infer or cite NIOSH approval. Some of these products may look very similar to NIOSH-approved respirators. One example is a product that has taken N95 respirators and added decorative fabric for fashionable effects, therefore voiding the approval (http://www.flufashion.net). Another example is a surgical mask being advertised as a NIOSH-approved N95 respirator. NIOSH purchased the product, tested it and found it to have over 80% leakage. Several instances of packaging that falsely uses terms like “NIOSH approved”, and “NIOSH N95” have been brought to our attention. Though it is often difficult to be able to tell from first glance if a respirator is truly NIOSH certified, the most reliable marking to look for is the NIOSH TC# printed both on the box as well as the product itself (TC# xxx-xxxx). The product can be verified by checking the TC number on the NIOSH website.


Example of typical markings on filtering facepiece respirators.

Examples of Ixterior and Interior markings on a Filtering Facepiece Mask,  1. Examples of Exterior Markings: a. Manufacturer Business Name or Private Label - Approval Holder Business Name, a Registered Trademark or an easily understood abbreviation.  If private labeled, the private label or logo is here instead of the approval holder business name,  b. NIOSH - NIOSH name in block letters or NIOSH Logo,  c. TC-84A-XXXX - TC - Approval Number,  d.  Filter Designation (Alphanumeric Rating) - NIOSH Filter series followed by filter efficiency levels (P100),  e.  Model # XXXX - Model Number,  f.  Lot # XXXX - Lot Number (Recommended),  2. Example of Interior Markings: Generic Orientation marking (recommended) Location is per manufacturer.


Figure 1 shows a NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece. Figure 2 shows the same type of filtering facepiece with a decorative design. Respirators featuring such designs are not NIOSH-approved.

Figures 1 and 2:

NIOSH approved filtering facepiece  Filtering facepiece with decorative fabric, not NIOSH-approved


The earloop masks below have been advertised as N95 NIOSH-approved on eBay and elsewhere on the internet. NIOSH does not approve surgical masks, only respirators. The masks pictured below are not NIOSH-approved. 

Figures 3 and 4:

Earloop mask, not NIOSH-approved  4 earloop masks, not NIOSH-approved


The masks below are being sold as N95. NPPTL purchased and tested these masks and found them to have over 80% leakage. These masks are not NIOSH-approved. 

Figures 5 and 6:

Filtering facepiece, not NIOSH-approved  Filtering facepiece, not NIOSH-approved


The box for this product indicates NIOSH approval. However, NIOSH does not approve surgical masks.

Face mask box


Revoked Respirator Approvals

Periodically, respirator approvals are revoked either at the request of the approval holder, or revoked by NIOSH for cause. Depending upon the reason for the revocation, a respirator User Notice may be issued. With all revocations, the approval number is no longer listed in the Certified Equipment List (CEL), or on any of the NIOSH web pages that list approved respirators. View a list of NIOSH approval numbers revoked since 2013. View user notices issued prior to 2011.

The validity of a respirator approval should be verified on NIOSH Certified Equipment List.


Related User Notices

Respirator User Notices are issued on a variety of topics related to NIOSH-approved respirators. The notices listed immediately below contain information that may help the user understand important issues related to respirator approval.

July 17, 2012 - Misleading Representation of the Use of Adhesive Seals as NIOSH-Approved

August 23, 2010 - Voluntary Stop Sale by Emany Consulting due to Mislabeled Packaging [PDF - 36 KB]

August 23, 2010 - Voluntary Stop Sale by Emany Consulting due to Question Regarding Protection Level [PDF - 34 KB]

January 16, 2009 - NIOSH Respirator Certification [PDF - 81.1 KB]

May 04, 2007 - Respirator User Notice, Use of Replacement and Spare Parts [PDF - 39 KB]

March 17, 2006 - Respirator User Notice, Meaning of NIOSH Approval [PDF - 28 KB]


Particulate Respirator User Notices

The notices listed below pertain to topics related to particulate respirators:

March 7, 2013 - Voluntary Rescission of Honeywell International Inc. (North Safety Products) Certificates of Approval TC-84A-3722, TC-84A-4240, and TC-84A-4251

July 31, 2012 - Voluntary Recission of Thea-Tex Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. Certificate of Approval TC-84A-5296

July 25, 2012 - Voluntary Rescission of PnTD Corporation Certificates of Approval TC-84A-5494 and TC-84A-5630

April 30, 2012 - Voluntary Rescission of Jiangyin Changhua Industrial Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Certificate of Approval TC-84A-5230

December 21, 2011 - Voluntary Rescission of FINEtech Company, Ltd. Certificate of Approval TC-84A-5461, Effective December 15, 2011

November 8, 2011 - Voluntary Rescission of Aswan International Corporation Certificate of Approvals TC-84A-4563 and TC-84A-4632, Effective November 7, 2011

October 21, 2011 - Voluntary Recission of Qiaohong Optical Industry Co., Ltd. Certificate of Approvals TC-84A-4532 and TC-84A-4630, Effective October 21, 2011

August 26, 2011 - Voluntary Recission of Wein Products, Inc. Certificate of Approvals TC-84A-4480, TC-84A-4651, TC-84A-4662, TC-84A-4988, TC-84A-4989 and TC-84A-5218, Effective August 18, 2011

June 23, 2011 - Voluntary Rescission of Emany Consulting Certificate of Approvals TC-84A-4177, TC-84A-4191, and TC-84A-4239, Effective June 23, 2011

May 18, 2011 - Voluntary Rescission of Jinfuyu Industrial Co., Ltd., Certificate of Approval TC-84A-4113, Effective May 18, 2011

April 20, 2010 - Voluntary Rescission of Champak Enterprise Co. Ltd Certificate of Approvals, TC-84A-4363 and TC-84A-4364, Effective April 20, 2010 [PDF - 34 KB]

December 16, 2009 - Voluntary Rescission of all Respirator Certificates of Approval Issued to Guangzhou Weini Technology & Development Co., Ltd. (GWT) Effective December 16, 2009. [PDF - 26 KB]

August 30, 2009 - Revocation of all Respirator Certificates of Approval Issued to Dual Safe Life (DSL) Effective August 30, 2009. [PDF - 871 KB]

July 1, 2009 - Revocation of all Respirator Certificates of Approval Issued to Bei Bei Safety Company, Ltd. (BBE) Effective July 1, 2009 [PDF - 253 KB]

June 22, 2009 - Revocation of all Respirator Certificates of Approval Issued to Jiangsu Teyin Nonwoven Fabrics, Ltd. (JTN), effective June 22, 2009 [PDF - 26 KB]

May 5, 2009 - Misleading Representation of the DuraMax PRO EN149 FPP1 Dust Mask as NIOSH Approved N95 [PDF - 105 KB]

December 04, 2008 - NIOSH has Revoked Jiangsu Teyin Nonwoven Fabrics CO., Ltd. - JTN's Approval Numbers TC-84A-4404 and TC-84A-4405. This approval was for the MVP-TR1 and MVP-TR2 N95 Filtering Facepieces [PDF - 24.9 KB]

August 21, 2008 - Misleading Representation of the Mainstays Projects RSP2MS Respirator as NIOSH-Approved N95 [PDF - 614 KB]

May 25, 2007 - Respirator User Notice, NIOSH Approval TC-84A-4250 Revoked, Nitta S.A. Corporation's Model 9510-1-N95 Filtering Facepiece [PDF - 125 KB]

September 28, 2006 - Misleading representation of the Mainstays Projects Respirator as a NIOSH-Approved N95 Respirator [PDF - 77 KB]

June 30, 2006 - Corrected Respirator User Notice - NIOSH voiding Crew, Inc Certificates of Approval [PDF - 25 KB]

 

Continue to Section 3: Ancillary Respirator Information

 
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  • Page last reviewed: December 10, 2014
  • Page last updated: December 11, 2013
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