Filtration Performance and Breathing Resistance of Elastomeric Half Mask P100 Filter Cartridges After Repeated and Prolonged Use in Healthcare Facilities

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J Occup About Hyg. February 11, 2022: 1-11. doi: 10.1080/15459624.2022.2041649. Online ahead of print.


In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the use of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health certified elastomeric half-mask respirators equipped with N95 or P100 filter cartridges for protection against the viral agent SARS-CoV -2, as a viable alternative to N95 filtering facepiece respirators. Additionally, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that, based on current practices, it was acceptable to repeatedly use these filter cartridges for up to 12 months as a contingency capacity strategy in the event of a shortage. anticipated respirators. To validate this recommendation, an investigation was undertaken in which elastomeric half-mask respirators fitted with P100 filter cartridges were deployed and used by healthcare professionals in clinical settings (i.e. nursing units for hospital patients, operating rooms) for long periods of time. These filter cartridges were then tested to accurately quantify their filtration efficiency and breathing resistance to determine if they continued to meet the performance requirements of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The results of this investigation confirmed that an elastomeric half-mask respirator, when fitted with a P100 filter cartridge, continues to provide a high level of aerosol filtration performance (≥99.97%) and exhibits little change in respiratory resistance even after twelve months of repeated use (i.e. wearing, cleaning and disinfection between patient use and at end of shift) in healthcare facilities.

PMID:35147486 | DOI:10.1080/15459624.2022.2041649

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