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N95 respirators offer vital protection that keeps yourself, your colleagues and patients safe. As one of the most important pieces of personal protective equipment for frontline health care professionals, buyers need to beware of substandard and counterfeit respirators on the market, particularly during periods of high demand.
NIOSH is the national body responsible for evaluating, testing, and approving respirators used within U.S. workplace settings. During COVID-19, it assessed hundreds of respirators claiming to meet international standards and found that most of them do not provide the expected level of filtration by U.S. standards.
The following is printed on every NIOSH-approved respirator: the word "NIOSH" in visible in block letters along with the Testing and Certification (TC) approval number and a model number. This information must be on the respirator itself and not just on the packaging.
This article is brought to you by the American Medical Association and CDC's Project Firstline. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) formed Project Firstline, a national infection control training collaborative, to provide all health care professionals with foundational knowledge to implement infection control protocols. The AMA is one of the many diverse health care and public health collaborators that is part of Project Firstline.
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