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Respiratory Protection Week 2023

Respiratory Protection Week, September 5-8, 2023, banner

Join us for Respiratory Protection Week 2023! Each year, during this week-long observance, we highlight the importance of respiratory protection in the workplace and provide resources to help you make educated decisions when selecting and wearing a respirator. If you are exposed to respiratory hazards at work, it’s best to apply the hierarchy of controls. The use of respiratory protection is an important “last line of defense” in the hierarchy of controls approach. 

Millions of workers across the United States rely on respiratory protection to keep them safe on the job. This includes workers in occupations such as healthcare, construction, public safety, emergency response, and mining.  

Below are links to our more recent resources that will help you find NIOSH Approved® respirators and understand how to use them effectively. 

What's New for 2023
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NIOSH Science Blog – Respiratory Protection Week 2023: Filling in the Gaps
We’re back for another Respiratory Protection Week! This year we’re shining some light on our Respirator Approval Program’s efforts to fill in gaps related to respiratory protection and answering some of your remaining questions about NIOSH Approved respirators.

Video for How to tell if your N95 Respirator is NIOSH Approved

How to Tell if Your N95® Respirator is NIOSH Approved
NIOSH Approved N95 respiratory protective devices are the most common type of filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) used in U.S. workplaces. This video explains how to determine if an N95 FFR is NIOSH approved, including required labeling and where to look to confirm an approval number. It also provides tips for recognizing counterfeit and misrepresented respirators.

Cover page for PPE CASE Note, 2023-128

Verifying Shelf Life for NIOSH Approved® Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs)
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2023-128
This report details respirator shelf life issues identified by NIOSH, what to do when shelf life information isn’t readily available, and actions that can be taken to support NIOSH’s shelf life recommendations for FFRs.

Cover page for publication 2023-132

Know Before You Apply: Summarized Quality Requirements Needed to Achieve NIOSH Approval
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2023-132
This booklet provides an overview of the NIOSH approval process and the application package requirements to address the most frequently asked questions, deter inappropriate applications, and better prepare potential NIOSH approval holders for the application process.

Infographic-Understanding Your Elastomeric Respirator, September 2023

Understanding Your Elastomeric Respirator
This infographic helps workers understand the different elastomeric respirator options and the differences between them.

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Why Respiratory Protection Week?

Respiratory protection has always been a key component of personal protective equipment to keep individuals safe from workplace airborne hazards, but over the last few years more people have become aware of just how  important. This year marks our fifth 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 educational tools to promote proper respiratory protection practices. 

Whether you are a newcomer to Respiratory Protection Week or have 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

2023: Respiratory Protection Week 2023: Filling in the Gaps

2022: Respiratory Protection Week 2022: Staying Committed to Proper Respiratory Protection Practices

2021: Respiratory Protection Week 2021 Resources and Review

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

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

N95 Day

2018: Getting Down to the Particulars about Filter Class

2017: When to think Beyond the N95 FFR

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

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

2014: Respirator Preparedness – Where Technology Meets Good Practices

2013: A Guide to N95 Resources

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

How to Participate

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. We encourage you to join the conversation. Follow our observance hashtag (#RespiratorWeek) to stay up to date on the latest information. Interacting with our posts helps spread the information far and wide. 

Follow us!

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 5-8, 2023, Participant banner

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Respiratory Protection Week, September 5-8, 2023, Participant banner

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Respiratory Protection Week, September 5-8, 2023, Participant banner

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Additional Resources

N95 and NIOSH Approved are certification marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) registered in the United States and several international jurisdictions.