NIOSH Issues Guidance on Emergency PPE for CBRN Response to Terrorism

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has published a document that provides guidance to local, state, and federal emergency response entities on personal protective equipment performance for response to terrorism incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) hazards. The document provides comparison information on the OSHA/EPA protection levels A, B, and C to Department of Homeland Security -adopted performance-based standards.

Currently, no single personal protective ensemble can protect the wearer from exposure to all hazards. It is important that the appropriate combination of respirator, protective ensemble, and other equipment be selected based on a conclusive hazard assessment at the scene, NIOSH says. The guidance document provides information on NIOSH CBRN respirator standards and NFPA protective ensembles standards that establish minimum performance requirements for PPE for use in CBRN terrorism incident response.

The guidance document is available at www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2008-132/pdfs/2008-132.pdf.

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