In the universe of personal protective equipment, respiratory protection is the only type of PPE certified by a U.S. government agency. The National Personal Protective Technologies Laboratory (NPPTL), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tests each respirator model and certifies its performance to a standard.
This rigorous validation of product performance includes assessing product operation, criteria for use, labeling and selection. When devices successfully complete testing and evaluation, they are granted an approval number by NIOSH. When a respirator is approved, it is officially deemed a certified product and will bear the NIOSH logo, indicating that it conforms to the level of performance under general use conditions.