CONTAMINANT: Tuberculosis (TB) Enforcement Policy

ORIGIN: Technical Services Department
DATE: October 17, 1998
REVIWED: JULY 2015

overview

In July 2015, OSHA issued an update enforcement policy to its compliance officers on occupational exposure to tuberculosis allowing the use of 42CFR84 particle respirators, such as N95.

CDC has established respiratory protective devices used in health-care settings for protection against M. tuberculosis should meet the following criteria:

  1. Certified by CDC/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as a nonpowered particulate filter respirator (N-,R-, and P-series 95%, 99%, and 100% filtration efficiency), including disposable respirators, or PAPRs with high efficiency filters (279);
  2. Ability to adequately fit respirator wearers (e.g., a fit factor of > 100 for disposable and half facepiece respirators) who are included in a respiratory-protection program; and
  3. Ability to fit the different facial sizes and characteristics of HCWs. (This criterion can usually be met by making respirators available in different sizes and models.

Based on these requirements, OSHA determined that the minimally accepted level of respiratory protection required would be met by an N, R or P95 respirator. OSHA also says that if a facility chooses to use disposable respirators, their reuse is permitted as long as the respirator maintains its structural and functional integrity and the filter material is not physically damaged or soiled.

Solution

Based on this information, it is acceptable to use any , N, R or P class filter particulate respirators. The user should consult their infection control department for guidelines on how long each mask, cartridge, filter or filtering facepiece should be used.

Affected Industries

Reference

OSHA Directive: Directive: CPL 02-02-078 - Enforcement Procedures and Scheduling for Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis:
OSHA Instruction

OSHA Safety & Health Topic:
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/tuberculosis/index.html#hot_topics

CDC Guidelines for Preventing Transmission of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in Healthcare settings, 2005, December 30, 2005/Vol. 54/No.RR-17
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00035909.htm

CDC:
http://www.cdc.gov/tb/default.htm

Respirators:
Disposable Respirators

WARNING: The information contained in this Tech Brief is dated and was accurate to the best of Moldex's knowledge, on the date above. It is not meant to be comprehensive, nor is it intended to be used in place of the warning/use instructions that accompany Moldex respirators. Outside of the USA, check with all applicable and local government regulations.

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