NEWSWATCH​
BIOAEROSOLS​​ ​
New Tool Helps IHs Choose Respiratory Protection for Bioaerosols
Quebec-based research organization IRSST recently released a Web-based support tool intended to help industrial hygienists and occupational health and safety professionals, including physicians, choose respiratory protection against bioaerosols in the workplace. The tool guides users through a six-step process and proposes appropriate respiratory protection based on the hazards associated with infectious or non-infectious bioaerosols present in the workplace and workers’ level of exposure. Users are asked to provide information on the sector for which the tool is being used; the risk group; the air-quality control level in the workplace; and the bioaerosol generation rate. Based on the parameters selected by the user, the tool helps determine the assigned protection factor (APF) and then presents a table of various respirators and corresponding APFs. The new tool is based on a control-banding model developed by IRSST, and can be accessed on the organization’s website.