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Recommendations concerning the role of workplace testing of respirators as a condition of certification.

Sherwood RJ
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Purchase Order 9142270, 1991 Jun; :1-51
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for certification of respiratory protective devices published on August 27, 1987, as it related to workplace performance testing as a condition of certification was reviewed. After considering all available literature on the topic, the author concludes that to introduce workplace or simulated workplace testing to determine workplace protection factors into the requirements for certification of industrial respirators would be premature. The primary reason for this conclusion is the great variability seen in protection demonstrated currently in workplace test programs and in fit testing. Effort is currently needed to determine the exposure of workers while using respirators. Several approaches toward this end are reviewed taking into account work recently reported. Little progress is reported in the area of performance of negative pressure high efficiency filter respirators since 1962. Further development is needed in the anthropometric description of human faces which is still restricted to two dimensional models. Emphasis should be placed on positive pressure systems which meet further certification requirements to ensure that positive pressure is maintained in the breathing zone at all times. The cost effectiveness of any proposed research program should be critically examined and compared with the high cost of field testing for certification purposes.
NIOSH-Contract; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Equipment-reliability; Personal-protective-equipment; Occupational-health-programs; Anthropometry
Publication Date
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Purchase Order Report
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Purchase Order
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Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Harvard School of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division