News Release USDL: 95-461
Wednesday, November 8, 1995
Contact: Frank Kane, (202) 219-8151
OSHA Reopens Record On Respiratory Protection To Receive Comments
On Assigned Protection Factors
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is
reopening the record on its respiratory protection proposal for
60 days to receive public comments on a report about interpreting
data on assigned protection factors (APFs) for respirators.
OSHA published its respiratory protection proposal Nov. 15,
1994, and, after an extended comment period, held public hearings
from June 6 to June 20, 1995.
One of the issues discussed extensively was setting assigned
protection factors for the various respirator classes. To assist
OSHA and the public in evaluating the record on this issue, OSHA
contracted with Mark Nicas of the University of California at
Berkeley to prepare recommendations for evaluating protection
factor studies and combining information across studies for use
in setting APF values. Nicas submitted a report entitled "The
Analysis of Workplace Protection Factor Data and the Derivation
of Assigned Protection Factors," which was entered in Respiratory
Protection Docket H-049 as Exhibit #156. OSHA may use the
recommendations in the report as an aid to setting APFs for the
The Nicas report recommends approaches to resolving science-policy
issues related to setting APFs. These issues include
deciding which workplace protection factor studies should be
evaluated; accounting for particle size effects, respiratory
deposition, and below detection-limit values; and requiring
specific statistical analyses to account for between-wearer
variability in respirator performance, within-wearer variability,
between-study variations and parameter uncertainty.
OSHA is asking for comments on the appropriateness and
completeness of the issues identified, the statistical
methodologies recommended, and the solutions offered for issues,
as well as any additional opinions or information that reviewers
may want to submit regarding statistical methodologies and
evaluation criteria for APF studies.
Written comments must be postmarked on or before Jan. 8,
1996. They must be submitted in quadruplicate or one original
hard copy and one disk (5-1/4 or 3-1/2 inch) in WordPerfect 5.0,
5.1, 6.0, 6.1 or ASCII to: Docket Office, Docket H-049, U.S.
Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W.,
Washington, D.C., 20210; telephone: (202) 219-7894. Any
information not contained on disk (e.g., studies, articles) must
be submitted in quadruplicate.
The report is available in the docket office or by
contacting John Steelnack at (202) 219-7151.
Notice of the reopening is in the Tuesday, Nov. 7, 1995,