Effect of Stockpiling Conditions on the Performance of Medical N95 Respirators and High-Level Protective Surgical Gowns

March 2017
NIOSH Docket Number 297, CDC-2017-0024

The National Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requested information and comments on the Effect of Medical Stockpiling Conditions on the Performance of N95 Respirators and High-Level Protective Surgical Gowns Docket (NIOSH Docket 297). The comments and information submitted to the docket were considered for focusing research efforts related to best-practice recommendations of medical stockpiling of respirators and gowns.

To view the notice and related materials, visit https:www.regulations.govexternal icon and enter CDC-2017-0024 in the search field and click “Search”.

Reference Documents
  • Federal Register Notice: Federal Register Notice pdf icon[PDF – 191 KB]
  • Background Information: NIOSH sought information about personal protective equipment (PPE) environmental storage conditions and inventory for federal, state, municipal, county, and hospital system stockpiles. Maintaining PPE stockpiles for public health emergencies is a significant cost and time investment for these various entities, which may include purchasing new products, maintaining inventory records, and lease or purchase of environmentally controlled storage space away from contaminated areas, dust, sun light, extreme temperatures, excessive moisture, and damaging chemicals. The information provided by respondents to this Notice was used to inform a research study design where N95 respirators and high-protection level surgical gowns are sampled from stockpiles and tested against established performance standards. The research study was designed to obtain scientific data to assess 1) the potential to extend manufacturer-recommended shelf life and 2) the effect of common, albeit sometimes non-ideal, stockpile conditions on the protections provided by respirators and surgical gowns. NIOSH seeks to sample N95 respirators and high-protection level surgical gowns from a variety of stockpiles representing contemporary storage conditions from across the nation. To that end, the information sought in this Notice was aimed at ensuring that study findings are broadly applicable to U.S. stockpiles.
Page last reviewed: April 26, 2017