Do you know if the N95 filtering facepiece respirators your workers use are actually approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)? If you don’t, this video could help.
NIOSH released a video in March 2023 explaining how to determine if an N95 has been approved by the organization through its “strict quality assurance and performance requirements.”
Also shows how to spot fakes
This video explains how to determine if an N95 filtering facepiece respirator is NIOSH approved, including required labeling and where to look to confirm an approval number. It also provides tips for how to recognize counterfeit and misrepresented respirators.
N95 is a certification mark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services registered in the U.S. and several international jurisdictions.
The video is based off the fact sheet of the same name.
NIOSH approval involves rigorous testing
A NIOSH-approved N95 is the most common type of filtering facepiece respirator (FFR), which is a disposable respirator that can filter all types of particles, including bacteria, viruses, and dust.
The organization only approves respirators that pass these requirement tests, which use “a near worst-case penetrating aerosol size” that can easily pass through a filter. To be approved, an N95 must not allow more than 5% of these particles to penetrate through.
This method “ensures that every respirator that passes these tests will filter potentially hazardous particles as expected when used in real-world situations.” And only those respirators that pass will wear the NIOSH seal of approval.