California recalls N95s issued to healthcare workers

By: January 5th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Problems with securing proper fit-testing has forced California to recall N95 respirators that it has been issuing to healthcare workers exposed to H1N1 influenza.

To help relieve the N95 respirator shortage caused by pandemic influenza, the California Department of Health (CDPH ) released supplies from its emergency stockpile on October 22. The problem was that most of the N95s released were the 3M 8000 model, which has “a low success rate in fit-testing,” according to a Cal/OSHA alert.

Because fit testing is essential for proper use of the respirator, the CDPH is withholding further shipments of that N95 model and urging healthcare facilities “to utilize other respirators for employee protection, according to the alert. “The CDPH will provide other brands and models of respirators to local health departments upon request.”

It is important to note that Cal/OSHA is not prohibiting the use of the 3M 8000, but strongly recommends against using this model for prevention of aerosol transmitted disease. If employers decide to continuing issuing respirators of this model, Cal/OSHA urges employers to assure a successful fittest with employees.

The alert also reminded employers of the option to institute procedures for conserving respirator supplies through extended use and redonning until a more reliable supply of respirators are available.


By Jeff Charlton on January 12th, 2010 at 3:51 am

Orinasal masks will always leak during use.Most contagious disease can infect through eyes so I never really understood their issue for pandemic.A new type of ppe is the hazmat hood which seals around the neck, has a micro filter,(99.99999 to .027) and has antiseptic coating infront of mouth piece(exhalation valve) to prevent accumulation of naturally occuring bacteria in exhaled breath (strep). The hood follows new EEC guidleines and standards for Terrorism CBR protection published in Jan 2010. It has an incredible NPF of 1000 against the orinasal wish list of only 50. See,


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