Publication

The Use and Effectiveness of Powered Air Purifying Respirators in Health Care: Workshop Summary


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Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

Protecting 18 million United States health care workers from infectious agents—known and unknown—involves a range of occupational safety and health measures that include identifying and using appropriate protective equipment (CDC, 2014a). The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa have called attention to the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) in different health care settings and have raised questions about how best to ensure appropriate and effective use of different kinds of PPE (such as respirators), not only to promote occupational safety but also to reduce disease transmission, in general.

Since 2005, the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has sponsored the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Standing Committee on Personal Protective Equipment for Workplace Safety and Health. In mid-2014, NPPTL asked the IOM to convene a workshop, “The Use and Effectiveness of Powered Air Purifying Respirators in Health Care,” to help prioritize and accelerate NIOSH activities to update certification requirements for powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) for use in health care.