October 27, 2022

Notice Extends Comment Period for Project Related to PPE Testing

Affected agencies and the public have additional time to submit comments on a proposed NIOSH project that would collect laboratory information related to testing respirators and protective clothing. The comment period for this proposal first opened on May 6 and closed on July 5, and one public comment was submitted during that time. Interested individuals and stakeholders now have 30 days from Oct. 21, the date of publication of a new Federal Register notice, to provide feedback to CDC, which oversees NIOSH.

The NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) is responsible for testing and approving respirators used in U.S. workplaces and conducting research on other types of personal protective technology, including chemical-resistant clothing, hearing protection, gloves, eye and face protection, hardhats, and sensors to detect hazardous substances. According to the Federal Register, NPPTL anticipates collecting information from individuals through methods including health screenings, physiological measurements of responses to personal protective equipment, biological measures of physiological responses, anthropometric measures of body size and shape, and measures of PPE fit. The laboratory notes that studies included in this project may involve children because the U.S. worker population in industries such as agriculture includes children as young as eight years old in some cases. Pregnant women who are regular users of PPE may also be a focus of the proposed project as they have “specific needs related to changes in body shape and size,” NPPTL explains.

CDC seeks feedback in several topic areas, including ways in which the quality, utility, and clarity of information to be collected during this project could be enhanced. Further details about the proposal and instructions for submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register.