July 3, 2019

NIOSH Seeks Partners to Develop New PAPR Designs for Healthcare Workers

A new research project launched by the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory is intended to develop new designs of powered air-purifying respirators for healthcare workers. The agency seeks inventors, researchers, and respirator manufacturers with the design and manufacturing capabilities to construct a new respirator prototype or modify existing PAPR models to improve respirator tolerability, comfort, and other functional characteristics. The project stems from recommendations issued in several reports published by the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine), including “Preparing for an Influenza Pandemic: Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers,” “Preventing Transmission of Pandemic Influenza and Other Viral Respiratory Diseases: Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Personnel: Update 2010,” and “The Use and Effectiveness of Powered Air Purifying Respirators in Health Care: Workshop Summary.”

The NIOSH project will use a government-private partnership development model. During the first project phase, NPPTL researchers will develop a set of consensus recommendations intended to improve the function and utility of respiratory protective devices used by healthcare workers. Partners selected by NIOSH during this initial process will then use the recommendations to build the respirator prototypes.

Organizations interested in participating in these collaborative efforts should submit a letter of intent by July 31, 2019. For more information, see the Federal Register notice.