An ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will plan and conduct a 1- or 2-day public workshop to engage key stakeholders and relevant technical contributors in a discussion on approaches to the respirator approval process in the current landscape for both occupational and non-occupational use of respirators. Additionally, the workshop will consider gaps in respiratory protection for outdoor workers and the general public. Research and communications avenues to address those gaps will be discussed.
This workshop will explore the current state of practices related to conformity assessment and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approval of respiratory protective devices (RPDs) in accordance with 42 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 84 (42 CFR 84). The workshop will discuss the NIOSH RPD systems-based approach for occupational applications and the current approaches in the United States and internationally for non-occupational use. The workshop would provide an opportunity to discuss the technical issues relevant to both approaches to conformity assessment with a focus on the associated workplace and public health and safety benefits and risks and related important and impactful topics. Situation-specific needs for respirators (e.g., forest fires, urban pollution) to protect different target populations (e.g., outdoor workers, international workers, and the general public) will also be explored, as well coordinated guidance to those communities regarding respirator use.
This workshop shall provide the opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas between professionals, policy makers, manufacturers, and users involved in the field of personal protective equipment. The planning commit-
tee will plan and organize the workshop, select and invite workshop speakers and discussants, and moderate the discussions. The workshop topics could include
- Overview of the current NIOSH Respirator Approval Program (RAP) including factors influencing respirator approval input, output, and timelines;
- U.S. and international government and/or private industry conformity assessment models for respirator use by the public;
- Lessons learned from 100 years of respiratory protection in the United States (e.g., respiratory protection programs in occupational settings);
- Situation-specific needs (e.g., forest fires, urban pollution) to protect different target populations (e.g., firefighters, outdoor workers, diplomats, and the general public);
- Gaps in respiratory protection for outdoor workers and the general public along with potential research and communications avenues to address those gaps; and
- Current respiratory protection guidance and recommendations to outdoor workers and the general public dealing with natural disasters and accidents, as well as coordination of that guidance.
A summary, Proceedings of a Workshop, will be published to capture the presentations and discussions at the workshop. This summary will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with National Academies institutional guidelines.