NIOSH recommendations for properly putting on (donning) respirators

August 10, 2014
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respiratorSource: NIOSH

Are all brands and models donned the same?

No. Not all brands and models are donned (put on) the same way. That is why it is important that you always consult the manufacturer’s user instructions before putting on (donning) a new brand or model of respirator. Typically, for N95 particulate respirators, the proper placement of head straps means that the lower strap should be worn around the neck and below the ears. The top strap should sit above the ears and around the crown of the head, securing the filter piece to the user’s face. The facepiece should feel snug. On most N95 models, the nosepiece is meant to be molded to the user’s facial structure using his or her index fingers of both hands to press gently against the metal strip until it molds to a snug fit.

Where do I find instructions for putting on (donning) a respirator?

All respirators should come with manufacturer’s instructions specifically addressing how to properly put on (don) the selected respirator to provide expected protection. For more information on this topic please refer to the NIOSH-Approved Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respiratorsweb page. Once on the page, select the type of respirator (e.g. N95) and it will provide a table with the manufacturer's donning procedure and user instructions for each approved respirator model.

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