NIOSH Publishes Guide to Atmosphere-Supplying Respirators
A new guide published in September by NIOSH describes different types of atmosphere-supplying respirators, which provide clean breathing air from a source independent of the work area. According to the agency, atmosphere-supplying respirators protect workers from many types of airborne contaminants. In certain cases, these respirators can also protect workers from oxygen-deficient atmospheres.  NIOSH’s brief guide summarizes the advantages, disadvantages, and recommended uses of supplied-air respirators, self-contained breathing apparatus, and combination supplied-air/self-contained breathing apparatus. NIOSH reminds employers and wearers that respirators must be approved by its respirator approval program and used in the context of a complete respiratory protection program per OSHA’s respiratory protection standard, which includes annual fit-testing for all respirators with a tight-fitting facepiece. The guide is available for download from NIOSH’s website. More information about respirator use is available in “A Guide to Industrial Respiratory Protection” available from NIOSH.