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California recalls certain N95 respirators issued from a state stockpile

Hospital Safety Insider, January 6, 2010

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In what could be an interesting development if it plays out across the country, California’s state OSHA agency (Cal/OSHA) issued an alert this week warning hospital emergency planners and others about a recall of the 3M 8000 brand of N95 respirators.
 
Cal/OSHA grew concerned over reports that this particular respirator “has a low success rate in fit-testing,” which is the prime way in confirming that the device seals to the user’s face.
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends healthcare workers use N95s to protect against H1N1 swine flu. OSHA requires hospitals to obey the latest CDC guidelines.
 
Although Cal/OSHA’s recall doesn’t prohibit healthcare workers from using the 3M 8000s, “it strongly recommends against using this model for prevention of aerosol transmitted disease and urges employers, if they decide to issue a respirator of this model to any employee, to [ensure] a successful fit test with that employee.”



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