Protection Level of Improvised Respiratory Devices is Unknown

As healthcare workers strive to protect themselves and others at a time when PPE is in high demand, ISEA has seen news reports of community groups and organizations around the world producing improvised (non-certified) breathing protection devices.

It is important for healthcare workers to understand NIOSH-certified respiratory protective devices are made with filter media specially designed to trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. This filtration ability is not known to be, or tested in, standard commercial fabrics. The cornerstone of NIOSH-certified respiratory protective devices is the defined level of protection these products provide, when fit-tested as part of an OSHA-compliant respiratory protection program.

ISEA member companies are doing everything possible to meet the unprecedented demand for NIOSH-certified respiratory protective devices. ISEA urges anyone assembling an improvised breathing protection device to be aware the protection a non-certified device provides is unknown.  ISEA wants medical personnel to have full information as they make decisions regarding protective equipment.

NIOSH certified respirators will have marked in a conspicuous location the following information:

  1. Brand name
  2. NIOSH logo
  3. Approval number, beginning with “TC”
  4. Filtration Classification (such as N95, N100, etc…)
  5. Model number
  6. Lot number




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