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PPE CASE – Assessment of Filtration Efficiency, Manikin Fit Performance, and Strap Performance for Decontaminated N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators

NPPTL Report Number P2021-0101

Evaluation of a convenience sample of 1,354 N95 FFR units across 29 models found that 42% of the decontamination techniques evaluated (8 of 19) negatively impacted fit and/or filtration efficiency.

Cover page for PPE CASE 2021-0101

This report summarizes the NIOSH assessments of filtration efficiency, manikin fit performance, and strap performance of NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) that have undergone various decontamination techniques. Based on the knowledge gained from these assessments, this report discusses important considerations when selecting techniques of FFR decontamination for occupational use. Findings from the NIOSH assessments indicate that FFR decontamination may have model-specific effects — the FFR manufacturer should be consulted before decontaminating any FFR.

The purpose of this assessment was to determine the effects of the decontamination process on the particulate filtration performance, manikin fit, and strap integrity of the respirator. It did not assess the reduction of the pathogen burden by the decontamination procedure.

Suggested Citation

NIOSH [2021] PPE CASE: Assessment of Filter Penetration Performance and Fit for Decontaminated N95 Respirators by Quinn, T., Bergman M., Strickland, K., Streeter, R., Vollmer, B., Meyers, J., Wilson, A., Pollard, J.P. Pittsburgh, PA U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NPPTL Report Number P2021-0101.