Respirators and The Ebola Virus (Updated December – 2020)

The wearing of a respirator is only one part of an ensemble that can reduce the risk of infection from the Ebola virus.

NIOSH and CE certify respirators to various levels of filtration efficiency for airborne contaminants using standardized test protocols.

As stated by the FDA:
“Most N95 respirators are manufactured for use in construction and other industrial type jobs that expose workers to dust and small particles. These respirators are evaluated for effectiveness by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These are labeled “For occupational use.”   N95 respirators cleared by FDA for use in the healthcare setting are called surgical N95 respirators. These devices meet some of the same performance standards as surgical face masks and are also NIOSH certified to meet the N95 respirator performance requirements” (1). )

The Gerson Respiratory masks 1730 and 2130 meet the requirements for an N95 mask and are certified by NIOSH. These masks are also cleared by the FDA for use in surgical environments. One of the qualifications for meeting the FDA requirements is resistance to penetration by fluids (synthetic blood).

Please Note: These reports do not demonstrate resistance to the Ebola virus, but, as it is carried through bodily fluids it reduces the risk of contracting the virus through droplet contamination.  If medical procedures may generate or promote the generation of aerosols, the requirements of OSHA 1910.134 must be followed, including respiratory training, medical evaluation and fit testing.

The CDC and the World Health Organization publish recommendations on infection control and use of PPE in healthcare and other settings.

Here are some helpful links to information from both the CDC and WHO for your reference:

WARNING: When using respirators for airborne contamination, respirators help reduce exposures to certain airborne contaminants. Before such use, the wearer must read and understand the User Instructions provided as a part of the product packaging. In the U.S., OSHA requires that a written respiratory protection program be implemented that meets the requirements of OSHA 1910.134 including medical evaluation, training, fit testing. In Canada, CSA Z94.4 standards and/or requirements of the applicable jurisdiction apply as appropriate. Misuse may result in sickness or death. For proper use, see package instructions or supervisor.

(1) Source: FDA  06/04/2014