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CDC Report: Recommended Guidance for Reuse of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators

Publication Date: 2020


This document recommends practices for extended use and limited reuse of NIOSH-certified N95 filtering facepiece respirators (commonly called “N95 respirators”). The recommendations are intended for use by professionals who manage respiratory protection programs in healthcare institutions to protect health care workers from job-related risks of exposure to infectious respiratory illnesses. Supplies of N95 respirators can become depleted during an influenza pandemic or wide-spread outbreaks of other infectious respiratory illnesses. Existing CDC guidelines recommend a combination of approaches to conserve supplies while safeguarding health care workers in such circumstances. These existing guidelines recommend that health care institutions:


  • Minimize the number of individuals who need to use respiratory protection through the preferential use of engineering and administrative controls;

  • Use alternatives to N95 respirators (e.g., other classes of filtering facepiece respirators, elastomeric half-mask and full facepiece air purifying respirators, powered air purifying respirators) where feasible;

  • Implement practices allowing extended use and/or limited reuse of N95 respirators, when acceptable; and

  • Prioritize the use of N95 respirators for those personnel at the highest risk of contracting or experiencing complications of infection.

This document focuses on one of the above strategies, the extended use and limited reuse of N95 respirators only; please consult the CDC or NIOSH website for guidance related to implementing the other recommended approaches for conserving supplies of N95 respirators. There are also non-emergency situations (e.g., close contact with patients with tuberculosis) where N95 respirator reuse has been recommended in healthcare settings and is commonly practiced.


The full report can be found here:

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hcwcontrols/recommendedguidanceextuse.html



About the Mask-Sanitizer:


The Mask-Sanitizer is a Portable On-Site Face Mask Disinfection Chamber for disposable face masks. The disinfection method is eight (8) germicidal UV-C bulbs positioned in front of and behind the N95 face masks. 10 face masks can be disinfected during each 15-minute cycle. The Mask-Sanitizer can be used at hospitals, fire stations, police stations, nursing homes, etc., and can be located near the actual point of use. One or more mask-sanitizers can be located at each station, department, wing, hallway or emergency room, so there is no need to handle and disinfect mass numbers of masks at a central or off-site location. The Mask-Sanitizer is simple to operate, easy to roll around, and versatile enough to be transported in the back of a minivan or SUV.

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