June 9, 2022

NIOSH Proposes Two Projects Related to Personal Protective Technology

On May 6, NIOSH opened public comment periods for two projects that may be conducted by the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) related to respirators and other personal protective technology (PPT). According to a Federal Register notice, one project would collect laboratory information for testing respirators and personal protective clothing. NPPTL is responsible for testing and approving respirators used in U.S. workplaces and conducting research on other types of PPT, including chemical-resistant clothing, hearing protection, gloves, eye and face protection, hardhats, sensors, and communication devices. NPPTL tests across a variety of use conditions and also examines new PPT designs or compares them to commercially available options.

A second Federal Register notice requests comments on a project that would assess workers and managers’ perceptions, maintenance, and evaluation of respirators used on the job. This project would use surveys, focus groups, interviews, and physiological monitoring to collect data on workers’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to respirator use and maintenance; identify and overcome barriers faced by workers using respiratory protection; understand organizations’ maintenance of respiratory protection programs; and determine training, interventions, and programs supporting respirator use and maintenance. NIOSH expects that respondents would represent occupations in public safety, emergency response, healthcare, and social assistance, including industrial hygienists and occupational health professionals.

The public comment periods for both proposed NIOSH projects will end on July 5, 2022. Additional information and instructions on how to submit comments can be found in the Federal Register notices.