Respiratory Protection Week 2021

Respiratory Protection Week, September 7-10, 2021

Respiratory Protection Week is over for another year. Until our next observance, you can sign up for the NIOSH NPPTL Listserv to receive updates on new products and announcements.

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Scroll through to see our new products, debuting this week! And when you are done here, be sure to backtrack to our home page to see our New Look!

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In particular, we encourage you to visit our updated Respirator Trusted Source webpage. This resource provides information ranging from basic respirator facts to more complex subjects on respirator function and performance.

 

Fact Sheets

Cover page for NIOSH publication 2021-124

How to Tell if your N95 Respirator is NIOSH Approved
This fact sheet explains what you should look for to determine if an N95 is NIOSH approved. You will also pick up some tips to spot counterfeit respirators.

Cover page of Publication No. 2021-123, Understanding Filtration Efficiency Testing and  Fit Testing in Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs)

Understanding Filtration Efficiency Testing and Fit Testing in Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs)
This fact sheet describes filtration efficiency testing and the proper fit testing procedures for an FFR, explaining why both are necessary for your respirator to perform as expected.

 

NIOSH Science Blogs

Respiratory Protection Week 2021 Resources and Review
Get some R&R with this year’s Respiratory Protection Week blog – This year’s blog is a Review of Resources that have become available since last year’s observance. NIOSH continues to expand our respiratory protection portfolio to ensure that all workers required to use respirators to protect themselves from workplace hazards have access to the information and equipment they need. Check out this blog to make sure you stay part of the action. While you are there, we’d love to hear from you. Leave us a Respiratory Protection Week greeting!

Who Does What? The Roles of NIOSH, OSHA, and the FDA in Respiratory Protection in the Workplace
Applying the best technology, guidelines, and standards to respiratory protection in the workplace is a big job. We can’t do it alone. Over the years, NIOSH has built complex partnerships with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address the specific respiratory protection needs of workers in different industries. This second Respiratory Protection Week NIOSH science blog, to be published on Thursday 9/9, will help you understand the “who does what” part of the respiratory protection puzzle.

 

Infographic

Infographic - Occupational Respiratory Protection Authority by Federal Agency

Occupational Respiratory Protection Authority by Federal Agency
In the same vein as the Thursday blog, we broke down the roles of respiratory protection in the workplace by federal agency.
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How To Participate header

How can you participate in Respiratory Protection Week? We highly encourage hosting activities within your own organizations, whether that be training sessions with your staff, educational messages pertaining to your specific workplace hazards, or just fun pictures on social media of your staff showing off their proper respiratory protection practices (and general love of a safe workplace environment!).

Like every year, we will be active on our social media platforms promoting information and new resources. If you have a passion for respiratory protection like we do, we encourage you to join the conversation.

Follow our observance hashtag (#RespiratorWeek) to stay up to date on the latest information. Like and share our posts with your followers to spread the information far and wide.

Follow us!

Twitter:  @NIOSH_NPPTL and @NIOSH (#RespiratorWeek)

Facebook: @NIOSH

Instagram @NIOSHUSA

If you are going to participate, why not show it off? Download these graphics to display on your organization’s website or your own personal social media accounts.

Respiratory Protection Week, September 7-10, 2021, Participant banner

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Respiratory Protection Week, September 7-10, 2021, Participant banner

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Respiratory Protection Week, September 7-10, 2021, Participant banner

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Respiratory Protection Week 2021 Webinars

NIOSH will host two webinars during Respiratory Protection Week 2021.

The Future of Respiratory Protection and other Personal Protective Equipment

Date: Tuesday September 7                         Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST

Registration for webinar is closed

During this presentation, speakers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) will provide an overview of how novel and emerging technologies may be applied to respiratory protection and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE), the new role of PPE in non-traditional settings, and closing PPE gaps for underserved populations.

NIOSH supports the PPE needs of all occupational user groups, this includes developing methods to evaluate PPE and developing PPE performance requirements. The research conducted within NPPTL serves to push forward the state of science related to PPE and assessing the impact of PPE on the user’s protection and ability to performance tasks. The future of PPE requires NPPTL to capitalize on advancements in technologies and materials. It is additionally important that NIOSH support the use of PPE in non-traditional settings as well as the needs of historically underserved PPE user groups.

Presenters

Jonathan Szalajda, Deputy Director, NIOSH NPPTL

Jonathan Szalajda, Deputy Director, NIOSH NPPTL
Jonathan (Jon) Szalajda became the Deputy Director for NIOSH NPPTL in September 2015. Since joining NPPTL in 2001, Jon has held various leadership roles in the organization.  Some of his duties included responsibility for developing and promulgating new approval PPE related standards and regulations, including NIOSH’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) respirator standards. Prior to coming to NIOSH, Jon was a proposal manager for Bombardier Transportation and was the systems manager for the M40 Mask program with the Department of the Army.  He holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Penn State and M.S. degrees in engineering from the George Washington University and the University of Pittsburgh.  He has worked in the fields of respiratory protection and PPE for over 30 years. Jon is currently a member of NFPA Respiratory Protection Technical Committees, the Vice-Chairman of the ASTM-ANSI F23.65 committee on Respiratory Protection, and a past president of the AIHA Respiratory Protection Committee.

Dr. Susan Moore, Associate Director for Science, NIOSH NPPTL

Dr. Susan Moore, Associate Director for Science, NIOSH NPPTL
Dr. Susan Moore joined NIOSH NPPTL in 2006 with her B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky and her Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh. She currently serves as the Associate Director for Science for NIOSH NPPTL. Dr. Moore also serves as the Co-Chair to the National Occupational Research Agenda’s (NORA) Public Safety Sector Council and is the Co-Coordinator for NIOSH’s Public Safety Sector Council and NIOSH’s Personal Protective Technology Core and Specialty Program. While at NPPTL, Dr. Moore has supported conformity assessment, test method development, research, and technology development efforts related to respirators, turnout gear, gloves, and surgical gowns.

Jonisha Pollard, Branch Chief, NIOSH NPPTL Research Branch

Jonisha Pollard, Branch Chief, NIOSH NPPTL Research Branch
Jonisha Pollard joined the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in 2007 with her BS in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh. While working at NIOSH, she earned her MS in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh. She currently serves as the Research Branch Chief for NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL). During her tenure at NIOSH, she has worked in mining injury prevention and personal protective technologies with research focusing on preventing occupational knee injuries, developing “ErgoMine” ergonomics audit mobile application, and preventing slips, trips, and falls at surface mining facilities. She joined NPPTL in 2019 and began focusing on the COVID-19 response efforts and supporting urgent PPE research priorities.

Authorities Associated with Respiratory Protection - The Role of NIOSH, the FDA, and OSHA

Date: Thursday, September 9                      Time: 3:00 -4:00 PM EST

Registration for webinar is closed

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL), is pleased to announce a webinar to clarify information regarding the U.S. Respiratory Protection authorities. Over the last year, you’ve probably seen or heard the following federal agency names quite a bit—NIOSH, OSHA, and FDA. But do you know what each agency is responsible for when it comes to respiratory protection? While we all work together with a common goal of keeping workers safe from workplace hazards, each agency has its own specific purpose.

During this webinar, we’ll take a deeper dive into this subject and define each agency’s role. Speakers from NIOSH, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will come together during NIOSH’s Respiratory Protection Week to provide an overview and discussion about the roles of these agencies during both conventional operations and emergency response scenarios. Additionally, this presentation will look at how the respiratory protection landscape has evolved over the course of the last year.

Presenters

Maryann D’Alessandro, Director, NIOSH NPPTL

Maryann D’Alessandro, Director, NIOSH NPPTL
Dr. Maryann D’Alessandro has served as the NIOSH NPPTL Director since March 2012. She also served as the Associate Director for Science for NPPTL from 2003-2012. Maryann provides leadership to the NIOSH Personal Protective Technology (PPT) Core and Specialty Program and the Public Safety Program where she serves as the Manager leading the effort to align PPT initiatives with user needs across all workplace industry sectors and she led the nation’s respiratory protection conformity assessment and research efforts throughout the COVID-19 response. Within the PPT Program, Maryann has served as the catalyst for aligning surveillance, research, standards, certification, outreach and intervention activities to improve workplace safety and health.  Prior to joining NIOSH in 2003, she had a short academic career at the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Bioengineering and served in various U.S. Army research and development organizations for 15 years.  Maryann holds Electrical Engineering degrees from the Florida Institute of Technology (B.S.), Fairleigh Dickinson University (M.S.), and Georgia Institute of Technology (Ph.D.).

Andrew Levinson, Acting Director, OSHA’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance

Andrew Levinson, Acting Director, OSHA’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance
Mr. Levinson is the Acting Director for OSHA’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance.  Prior to that he was the Director of OSHA’s Office of Biological Hazards. Mr. Levinson works on safety and health management systems, emergency response and preparedness, infectious disease, and protective clothing and equipment issues. Prior to joining the agency, he worked on emergency responder health and safety matters at the International Association of Fire Fighters and on safety and environmental compliance at Anheuser-Busch’s brewery in Cartersville, Georgia.

Mr. Levinson received his master’s degree in public health from the Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and is a graduate of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

Aftin Ross, Senior Special Advisor for Emerging Initiatives (Detail), FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Office of Strategic Partnerships and Technology Innovation (OST)

Aftin Ross, Senior Special Advisor for Emerging Initiatives (Detail), FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Office of Strategic Partnerships and Technology Innovation (OST)
Dr. Aftin Ross is currently the Senior Special Advisor for emerging initiatives in the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Technology Innovation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). In this role, she provides leadership and coordination within the Center on a range of emerging public health issues including medical device cybersecurity, respiratory protective devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), and incident response. Aftin has had leadership roles in CDRH incident response to COVID-19, device-related infections, and natural disasters such as the 2017 Atlantic hurricanes. During COVID-19, she has led and participated on teams responsible for mitigating PPE shortages, writing and implementing respirator EUAs, and setting PPE policies. Aftin earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar. She completed her graduate work at the University of Michigan earning a master’s and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. After her graduate work, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship as a Whitaker International Fellow at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany. In 2016, she completed the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, an executive education program in the Harvard School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government and in 2019 she became a certified Six Sigma Green Belt.

Respiratory Protection Week 2021 Why Respiratory Protection Week?

Respiratory Protection Week icon

Respiratory protection has always been a key component of personal protective equipment to keep individuals safe from workplace airborne hazards, but over the last year more people have become aware of just how important. This year marks our third Respiratory Protection Week, but our virtual shout-out for respiratory protection goes back to 2012 when we began observing N95 Day. N95 Day highlighted best practices and resources specific to the most commonly used filtering facepiece respirator, the N95. We continued with the N95 focus for seven years until we expanded our campaign in 2019 to be inclusive of all types of respiratory protection.

Each year we continue respirator research to address knowledge gaps and use this observance week to share our findings and unveil educational tools to promote proper respiratory protection practices.

Whether you are a newcomer to Respiratory Protection Week or been with us since the N95 Days, you can check out the resources available from our previous years’ observance kick-off blogs.

Respiratory Protection Week

2019: NIOSH Launches Respiratory Protection Week in Celebration of 100 Years of Respiratory Protection

2020: Supplementing the Supply of N95s with Reusable Elastomeric Half Mask Respirators

N95 Day

2012: Happy N95 Day! (aka, What is N95 Day?)

2013: A Guide to N95 Resources

2014: Respirator Preparedness – Where Technology Meets Good Practices

2015: The tools to build a culture of proper respiratory protection practices

2016: Proper Use, Filtration, and Fit – The Three-Legged Stool of Respiratory Protection

2017: When to think Beyond the N95 FFR

2018: Getting Down to the Particulars about Filter Class

Additional Resources

Page last reviewed: September 13, 2021