Selecting the "Right" Respirator
- Any respirator selected must be NIOSH-approved.
NIOSH Safety and Health Topic: Respirators
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Attention: Non-MDH link
- A respirator is a protective face piece, hood or helmet that is designed to reduce the exposure of the wearer to airborne hazards by filtering sub-micron aerosols.
- Components of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Respirators
- All respirators have limitations:
- improper fit
- improper donning
- The 1994 CDC Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Facilities specify the following criteria for respirators for exposure to TB:
- Ability to filter 1 micron in size in the unloaded state with a filter efficiency greater than 95%.
- Ability to be qualitatively or quantitatively fit tested in a reliable way to obtain face-seal leakage of less than 10%.
- The minimal acceptable level of respirator protection for TB is the Type 95 respirator.
- Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Facilities, 1994
CDC; The purpose of this revision is to emphasize the importance of the hierarchy of control measures, including administrative and environmental controls and personal respiratory protection; the use of risk assessments for developing a written TB control plan; early identification and management of persons who have TB; TB screening programs for health-care workers; training and education; and the evaluation of TB infection-control programs. Attention: Non-MDH link