Developing a Performance Standard for Combination Unit Respirators—Workshop in Brief


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

Combination unit respirators, a respirator that employs the technology of two or more types of respiratory protection, are presently used in the United States by some law enforcement and military units to respond to situations in which there are unknown and potentially dangerous respiratory hazards; they also have some industrial uses and potential for use in emergency response. On April 30, 2015 the Institute of Medicine hosted a workshop to explore the standards and research issues relevant to these respirators and their certification by the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory.    Representatives from existing and potential user groups as well as manufacturers and other stakeholders discussed the benefits and challenges of combination unit respirators, and provided their ideas on next steps in research, training, and hazard assessment, as well as standards and regulatory priorities to ensure the safety of workers and improve the operation of combination unit respirators.