Recently Released CDC Guidance Documents
Last week the CDC released new guidance for manufacturing workplaces. One document is “Manufacturing Workers and Employers-Guidance for Manufacturing Workers and Employers on Protection from COVID-19” The other is “Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers- Guidance for Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers on Protection from COVID-19”. These documents update previous guidance provided by the CDC.
One thing that stands out in both documents is that there is more specific hazard control information than in previous documents. Also each document includes a few posters that can be used for training and as an overview of the guidance.
Please keep in mind that CDC Guidance does not take the place of specific orders that may have been enacted by State and Local Health Departments.
Concerns Raised Regarding Respirators from Other Countries-FDA Pulls Approval for Some N-95 Respirator Makers in China
If using a particulate-filtering respirator in the workplace for respiratory protection, it is important to have confidence in the filtration effectiveness of the mask. Here are some links to help you determine if what you are purchasing is approved for use.
1. For NIOSH approved products, check the NIOSH NPPTL Certified Equipment List. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/cel/default.html
a. If you continue to have questions, feel free to reach out to the manufacturer. Several have COVID hotlines set up to assist with questions. For example, 3M has created a fraud hotline, 1 (800) 426-8688 for the US and Canada to help detect fraud and avoid counterfeit products. In addition to the hotline, you can report a concern at www.go.3m.com/covidfraud.
2. For products coming out of China, check out the following page. https://www.fda.gov/media/136663/download
3. To check if a Certificate of Approval is from an authorized Chinese or European test laboratory, check out the following addresses:
a. A list of known ISO/IEC 17025 accredited test laboratories in China capable of evaluating the performance of respirators is available here: https://economie.fgov.be/sites/default/files/Files/Entreprises/laboratories-accredited-by-cnas-for-testing-of-maks.pdf
b. The European Union Commission website provides a link to the list of Notified Bodies for Personal Protective Equipment in Europe: bodies notified under Regulation (EU) 2016/425 on personal protective equipment (NANDO information system), many of which also have accredited test houses.
c. WARNING: Even if you validate via the paperwork, due diligence is needed. A NIOSH review of documents from companies based in China has found a significant amount of falsified documentation. While documentation is crucial, it may not a reliable indicator of the product.
4. If it is not on the EUA (Emergency Use Authorization), and is not produced by a NIOSH approval holder, NIOSH does not have confidence the product would perform as intended. Currently, we are conducting testing to provide an assessment of the filtration efficiency of these devices when they are on an EUA. These ongoing assessments of international products are captured here: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/respirators/testing/NonNIOSHresults.html.