Question: How do you know if your respirators, including those intended for use in healthcare settings, are certified by the CDC/NIOSH?
Answer: NIOSH-approved respirators have an approval label on or within the packaging of the respirator (i.e. on the box itself and/or within the users’ instructions). Additionally, an abbreviated approval is on the filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) itself. You can verify the approval number on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL) or the NIOSH Trusted-Source page to determine if the respirator has been approved by NIOSH. NIOSH-approved FFRs will always have one the following designations: N95, N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, P95, P99, P100.
Signs that a respirator may be counterfeit:
- No markings at all on the filtering facepiece respirator
- No approval (TC) number on filtering facepiece respirator or headband
- No NIOSH markings
- NIOSH spelled incorrectly
- Presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons (e.g., sequins)
- Claims for the of approval for children (NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protection for children)
- Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands
*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.