September 16, 2021

Two New NIOSH Fact Sheets Focus on Respirators

New fact sheets published by NIOSH help users determine whether an N95 respirator is NIOSH approved and describe filtration efficiency testing and proper fit-testing procedures for a filtering facepiece respirator (FFR). The new documents were released on Sept. 7 during NIOSH’s 2021 Respiratory Protection Week, an annual event held by the agency to highlight the importance of safeguarding workers’ respiratory health on the job.

The fact sheet on N95s includes a diagram illustrating the information required to be printed on NIOSH-approved N95 FFRs. It also guides users to the NIOSH Certified Equipment List to confirm testing and certification approval numbers, which are printed on NIOSH-approved respirators. The new document also describes signs that an N95 may be counterfeit and discusses misrepresentation of NIOSH approval, when respirator products are falsely marketed and sold as being approved by the agency. Common examples of respirator alterations that void NIOSH approval are also listed on the new fact sheet.

The second fact sheet explains why filtration efficiency testing and proper fit-testing procedures for FFRs are necessary for respirators to perform as expected. The document is intended to help users better understand how FFRs protect respiratory health.

More information on respiratory protection can be found on the website of NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory.