Reusable respirators (specifically, reusable half-facepiece elastomeric respirators) are the standard respiratory protection device used in many industries. Their durability and reusability make them desirable for stockpiling for emergencies, during which large volumes of respirators can be needed. Until now, options for using reusable half-facepiece elastomeric respirators in routine and surge use in health care have not been fully explored.
With support from the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory and the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conducted a study on the use of half-facepiece reusable elastomeric respirators in health care. This report explores the potential for using elastomeric respirators in the U.S. health care system. It focuses on economic, policy, and implementation challenges and opportunities.