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Happy N95 Day! A Guide to N95 Resources

Categories: Emergency Response/Public Sector, Health care, Manufacturing, Personal Protective Equipment, Respiratory Health

Welcome to year two of this NIOSH-approved observance, marking N95 day as an official annual event. (We debated about decorating our offices with N95s – but that seemed a tad wasteful). To those who missed the memo last year, let us update you. Because N95 respirators are so important to the health and safety of workers in so many different industries, and because there is more to know about this personal protective device than just when to slap one on, we have dedicated a day to the promotion, celebration, dissemination, and proclamation of N95 information. This is a time to recognize the importance of respiratory protection in the workplace and familiarize yourself with the resources out there to help you make educated decisions when wearing a respirator.

Much like last year, NIOSH social media will be a-buzz promoting N95 information. If you’re on twitter, be sure to follow @NIOSH and @NPPTL, #N95 day, for the most current updates. We will also be celebrating on the NIOSH facebook page and Pinterest! (By the way, that image to the left is our Pin-tastic new infographic!)

Social media is a fantastic way to link us all together, but if it’s not really your thing, don’t worry! This blog is a great place to start gathering information. This year we’d like to take this opportunity to consolidate valuable information into a quick reference guide.

Online Reading Materials:

The NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology website has a lot of information pertaining to many different kinds of personal protective equipment. So let’s cut to the chase. All you need to remember to get to the core of N95 information is: Knowits.NIOSH.gov. This shortcut link will lead you the Trust-Source page where many of your frequently asked questions will be answered. You will also find a list, updated monthly, of all NIOSH-approved N95 respirators.

Quick links to other important N95 web information:

The CDC has developed an instructional program for the selection and use of PPE in healthcare settings, including respiratory protection.

You can find a list of more resources on the NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Respirator Topic Page!

Videos:

NIOSH Safety Videos

Sometimes a visual element is exactly what we need to become engaged in a topic. That’s why the NIOSH Safety Videos channel on Youtube offers an array of great occupational health and safety clips. When it comes to N95 research and certification, this visual element is our way of inviting you into the laboratory to see how NIOSH is ensuring the quality of respirators on the market.

We wanted to provide users with an insight into what it looks like to be NIOSH-approved. So debuting today, on N95 Day, is our new Certification Video. This short look into the NIOSH respirator approval laboratory highlights the equipment and process for certifying N95 respirators.

Also found on the NIOSH Safety Videos page is a glimpse at NIOSH’s new robotic manikin headform for respirator fit evaluation research. This advancement will expand the opportunities for research into respirator inward leakage, which includes the penetration of particles through the filter itself combined with the leakage around the faceseal. This technology has the potential to aid in respirator design and contribute to the advancement of respirator certification and consensus standards. Get more information about the NIOSH Advanced Headform on the NIOSH blog!

OSHA Respiratory Protection Training Videos

NIOSH isn’t the only government agency with great respiratory protection information. When it comes to simple, training videos, OSHA has one of the go-to pages on the web. On this page you will find videos both in English and Spanish about:

  • Respiratory Protection in General Industry
  • Different Respirator types
  • Respiratory Fit Testing
  • Medical Evaluations for Workers Who Use Respirators
  • Counterfeit and Altered Respirators: The Importance of NIOSH certification
  • Donning and Doffing
  • The Difference between Respirators and Surgical Masks

And more!

We hope you are celebrating along with us today, making this an opportunity to peruse our resources. Know someone who wears an N95 at work? Pass it along! Unlike the germs that respirators help to protect from – we’re hoping N95 day is contagious!

Jaclyn Krah, MA

Ms. Krah is a Health Communication Specialist in the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory.

Public Comments

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

  1. September 9, 2013 at 9:56 am ET  -   American Industrial Hygiene Association

    Health care workers can be exposed to a variety of infectious agents during performance of their duties. Respirators are frequently used to provide protection from exposure these airborne infectious agents. This fact sheet presents information about the use of respirators and ways to increase their effectiveness: [http://www.aiha.org/about-ih/Documents/RespiratorFactSheet-HealthCare.pdf]

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  2. September 9, 2013 at 1:42 pm ET  -   sky a830

    Useful information for all citizens

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  3. September 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm ET  -   Achraf

    I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to wear a mask to school!

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  4. September 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm ET  -   Mireille

    I have some SH2550 N95 Particulate Respirator and there is an expiry date.
    Can we use them or do we have to throw them away? Expiry date is 04-2012.

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    • AUTHOR COMMENT September 26, 2013 at 10:21 am ET  -   Roland Berry Ann

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Each NIOSH-certified respirator is to be used and maintained in accordance with the individual manufacturer-provided user instructions and guidance. If a manufacturer of a NIOSH-certified respirator identifies an expiration date, shelf life, or “use by” date for a NIOSH certified respirator, the respirator should not be relied upon to provide the expected level of protection after the indicated date. Consequently, after the date indicated, it is no longer considered a NIOSH-certified respirator. NIOSH suggests you contact the manufacturer to receive further guidance before disposing of the expired respirators.

      There are many variables that impact how long a product can be stored prior to use. These factors range from the materials and the components used in the device, to handling of the products within warehouses or otherwise and to environmental conditions during storage such as temperature and humidity. When establishing a use-by or expiration date, manufacturers take into account the filter media as well as the component parts of the respirator such as the straps, nose form and nose clips. If respirators are stored outside of the established storage conditions, the respirators may not meet original performance requirements.

      No respirator should be used unless it has undergone a thorough visual inspection by the user, as outlined in the User Instructions; and unless the user has been fit tested and the respirators are being used in accordance with a written respirator program, as outlined in 29 CFR 1910.134.

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  5. September 23, 2013 at 7:35 am ET  -   Achraf

    Great Article Thanks for sharing

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  6. September 30, 2013 at 8:09 am ET  -   kami

    Useful And Helpful Information For Everyone.Thanks For Sharing...

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  7. October 4, 2013 at 1:56 am ET  -   Toko OLid

    THANKS FOR INFORMATION

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  8. January 23, 2014 at 9:50 am ET  -   lawyer

    Well I truly enjoyed reading it. This information procured by you is very useful for proper planning.

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  9. April 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm ET  -   Rajat Kulshrestha

    Hey thank you for sharing such a an informatinve article. Worth reading to all citizens.

    Regards
    -Rajat Kulshrestha

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