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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 final standard.

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, Federal Register.

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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