National Awareness Day Highlights Importance of Respirators

September 2, 2014
NIOSH Update:

On September 5 th the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will celebrate “N95 Day,” a national health awareness day focused on increasing workers’ knowledge of on-the-job respiratory safety and protection. NIOSH estimates that every day over 20 million workers, in dozens of industries, are exposed to airborne health risks. The theme for the 2014 observance is “Respirator Preparedness: Where Technology Meets Good Practices.”

N95 awareness day activities include: a live webinar with NIOSH professionals discussing respirator preparedness in the healthcare setting, an online blog, Pinterest-ready infographics, tweets throughout the day (#N95Day), as well as a twitter chat with NIOSH N95 respirator experts. The twitter chat (#N95Chat) will touch upon various industries as the panel of experts discusses best practices for using this type of respiratory protection while taking questions from participants.

“It is vitally important that employers and workers know about the products they are using and understand how to use them properly for their workplace,” explains Maryann D’Alessandro, Director of the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory.  “N95 Day allows us to place even greater emphasis on making sure that accurate and actionable information is available for employers and workers alike.”

The N95 respirator is the most common of the seven types of particulate filtering facepiece respirators. This product filters at least 95% of airborne particles. NIOSH recommends workers who may be exposed to hazardous airborne particles to follow the OSHA respiratory protection standard and use N95 filtering facepiece respirators. Respirators should only be used when engineering control systems are not feasible. Engineering control systems, such as adequate ventilation or scrubbing of contaminants are the preferred control methods for reducing worker exposures.

For more information about N95 Day, visit or search the twitter #N95Day. Workers can also find helpful tools and information on the Respirator Trusted Information Page at  knowits.niosh.govexternal icon .

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit .

Page last reviewed: September 2, 2014