Every day, in nearly every type of U.S. work setting, from crop fields, warehouses, health care facilities, and construction sites to mines, plants, and emergency rescue operations, personal protective technologies are used to reduce workers’ risk of job-related injury, illness, and death. These technologies include personal protective devices such as respirators, chemical-resistant clothing, hearing protectors, and safety goggles and glasses that provide a barrier between the worker and an occupational safety or health risk. In particular, respirators are a required component of many occupational safety and health programs, and may represent a worker’s last line of defense against exposure to toxic fumes, vapors, or dust. Personal protective technologies also include devices that provide a worker with early warning of a hazard or otherwise help keep the worker safe from harm, such as sensors that detect toxic atmospheres and communication devices used for safe deployment of emergency workers. NIOSH's National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) focuses expertise from many scientific disciplines to advance federal research on respirators and other personal protective technologies for workers. NPPTL’s efforts are essential for applying state-of-the-art science to meet the increasingly complex occupational safety and health challenges of the 21st Century. NPPTL’s strategic research program will ensure that the development of new personal protective equipment keeps pace with employer and worker needs as work settings and worker populations change and new technologies emerge. NPPTL research will also respond to the critical need for effective protective technologies for first responders in terrorist events and other disasters. NPPTL incorporates NIOSH’s longstanding program for testing and approving respirators for use in traditional work settings. It also builds on that program to test and approve respirators for use by first responders against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents. NPPTL’s mission is to provide world, national, and Institute leadership for prevention and reduction of occupational disease, injury, and death for those workers who rely on personal protective technologies through partnership, research, service, and communication.
Personal-protective-equipment; Laboratories; Laboratory-testing; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respirators; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Safety-equipment; Self-contained-breathing-apparatus; Self-contained-self-rescuers; Self-contained-underwater-breathing-apparatus; Standards; Quality-control; Quality-standards
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0070