Most-viewed NIOSH Products of 2020

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA; Garrett Burnett, MS, MBA; Katie Shahan, JD; Burt Tienken

Each January we look back on the most popular NIOSH information from the prior year. With 2020 focused on COVID-19, much of what was posted and accessed on the NIOSH website and the NIOSH social media accounts related to the pandemic. NIOSH is responsible for certifying respirators, including N95 filtering facepiece respirators. Throughout the pandemic NIOSH has provided respiratory protection solutions and strategies to help address the widespread respiratory protection shortage. Some of that work is highlighted below in our listing of greatest hits of 2020. A recent blog post summarizes additional aspects of the NIOSH COVID-19 response.

If after you review the most-viewed NIOSH blogs, tweets, web pages, publications and Facebook and Instagram posts of 2020 you are left wondering what was popular in a non-pandemic year, you can look back at the 2019 blog for a bit of nostalgia.



In 2020, the NIOSH Facebook page had 154,426 likes gaining 8,000 new likes since last year. The NIOSH Facebook posts with the most reach in 2020 were:

Do you have questions about respirator use by healthcare personnel for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? CDC has answers!

Today, we celebrate Miners Day and honor the miners who work hard to produce the minerals and materials that make our lives easier. Not sure how mining impacts your life? If you’re reading this on a mobile device, that wouldn’t be possible without mining.

New coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) guidance on the CDC website! Visit the Healthcare Supply of Personal Protective Equipment webpage to find information on manufacturers and distributors, learn who does and doesn’t need PPE, and more

Given the shortage of N95 respirators during this global outbreak of COVID-19, it’s important to understand the difference between N95 respirators and surgical masks. Our new blog explains the differences and the protection each provides.

Counterfeit respirators are products that are falsely marketed and sold as being NIOSH-approved and may not be capable of providing appropriate respiratory protection to workers. Inspect the respirator or its packaging for the required labeling. Learn more about NIOSH approved respirators on the NIOSH Science Blog.

NIOSH Science Blog

In 2020, the NIOSH Science Blog was viewed 1,758,853 times, a 325% increase over last year. Twenty five new blog posts on COVID-19 topics, including ten on respiratory protection, helped drive this record number of views. In 2020, NIOSH posted 88 new blog posts. For the first time, a Spanish language blog was among the top five most-viewed blog posts. Not surprisingly, it was on respirator use, as were all of the most-viewed blog posts of 2020.

N95 Respirators and Surgical Masks

To Beard or not to Beard? That’s a good Question!

Proper N95 Respirator Use for Respiratory Protection Preparedness

Respiratory Protection During Outbreaks: Respirators versus Surgical Masks

Uso adecuado del respirador N95 para estar preparado para la protección respiratoria (Spanish translation of Proper N95 Respirator Use for Respiratory Protection Preparedness)



The NIOSH Instagram account hit 10,000 followers this year! The account gained more than 6,000 followers in 2020, more than our total followers since the account began in 2015. Instagram followers broke the 2020 mold with four of the five most-viewed posts on topics other than COVID-19. The most- viewed Instagram posts in 2020 were:

It is National Protect Your Hearing Month! Occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States. Each year, about 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work. Protect your hearing at work. Use the NIOSH Hierarchy of Controls to reduce workplace noise to below the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Level (REL) of 85 db(A) whenever possible. Use hearing protection when hazardous noise levels cannot be adequately reduced.

Are you reopening your nail salon? CDC has information to help you open safely and protect your employees and customers from #COVID19. Implement control solutions following the hierarchy of controls to help prevent COVID-19 among your employees.

Make sure your workers have proper training before heading onto your #construction site. Have a contractor representative, supervisor, on-site safety professional, or guest expert demonstrate how to properly fit, wear, and use fall protection. Review how to use ladders and other equipment safely. Join us for the #StandDown4Safety May 4th through 8th and help us #StopFalls in construction!

NIOSH leads a national initiative called Prevention through Design (PtD) to prevent or reduce occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities through the inclusion of prevention considerations in all designs that impact workers. Hierarchy of controls is a PtD strategy. The idea behind this hierarchy is that the control methods at the top of graphic are potentially more effective and protective than those at the bottom. Following this hierarchy normally leads to the implementation of inherently safer systems, where the risk of illness or injury has been substantially reduced.

It’s the last day of the #StandDown4Safety but there is still time to plan, provide, and train to protect your employees.


The NIOSH Twitter account, @NIOSH, has more than 300,000 followers. The most popular tweets in 2020 were:

Grocery workers should avoid touching their nose, mouth, or eyes after handling items or merchandise. Workers should regularly wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. Find more information: #COVID19

When wildland #firefighters are traveling between assignments or during fire responses via large transport vehicles it is often not practical to implement social distancing measures. @CDCgov has actions that can be taken to prevent the spread of #COVID19

During a crisis, fatigue among healthcare workers may be difficult, if not impossible, to avoid. A shared responsibility between managers and workers can reduce the risk of fatigue-related injuries or incidents.  More tips on the #ScienceBlog. #NursesWeek

Providing care to others during #COVID19 can lead to stress, anxiety, fear, and other strong emotions. @CDCgov has tips to help you recognize what stress looks like, cope with stress, and know where to go if you need help.  #NursesWeek

Stay alert while driving for work after the time change. You or others on the road may be fatigued and at greater risk of a crash. #fallback


Downloaded Documents

Nearly 668,000 NIOSH documents were downloaded from the website in 2020. For the fourth year in a row, “NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, 2016” was the most downloaded document from the NIOSH website.

NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, 2016

Filtering out Confusion: Frequently Asked Questions about Respiratory Protection, User Seal Check

Filtering out Confusion: Frequently Asked Questions about Respiratory Protection, Fit Testing

Hospital Respiratory Protection Program Toolkit

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards 3rd Printing


NIOSH Webpages

NIOSH maintains 20,000 webpages. In 2020 the pages were viewed 49,584,761 times (up from 17 million in 2019). The top five most-viewed pages include:

Recommended Guidance for Extended Use and Limited Reuse of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators

NIOSH-Approved N95 Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators – 3M Suppliers List

NIOSH-Approved Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators

Counterfeit Respirators / Misrepresentation of NIOSH-Approval

Respirator Assessments to Support the COVID-19 Response, International Assessment Results


This was certainly a record year for NIOSH information. We are proud to have produced quality information for protecting workers that the public appears to have found useful. We hope that our new users will keep coming back to NIOSH resources in 2021 and beyond.


Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA, is the NIOSH Science Blog Coordinator.

Garrett Burnett, MS, MBA, is a technology transfer specialist in NIOSH’s Research to Practice Office and an assistant coordinator for NIOSH’s Small Business Assistance Program.

Katie Shahan, JD, is the NIOSH Social Media Manager and a Health Communication Specialist in the NIOSH Office of the Director.

Burt Tienken is the NIOSH Web Metrics Analyst.

Posted on by Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA; Garrett Burnett, MS, MBA; Katie Shahan, JD; Burt TienkenTags

2 comments on “Most-viewed NIOSH Products of 2020”

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 ».

    While I appreciate the good work of NIOSH and support presenting the 2020 work, I believe your title is tone deaf. 2020 has been the worst year for occupational safety and health in the 50 years OSHA and NIOSH have been in existence – thousands of worker have died and tens of thousand have become seriously ill from work-related exposure to the coronavirus. Employers and government agencies largely failed in worker protection efforts. I urge you to revised the title of this post.

    Mark Catlin
    Industrial Hygienist (retired)

    Thank you for your comment. We have revised the title of the blog to make it clearer our intention to highlight products from the year.

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Page last reviewed: January 5, 2023
Page last updated: January 5, 2023