FDA Recommends Transition from Use of Decontaminated Disposable Respirators
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a letter to healthcare personnel and facilities recommending that they transition away from crisis capacity conservation strategies, such as decontaminating or bioburden reducing disposable respirators for reuse because of the increased availability of NIOSH approved respirators. Recommendations for health care personnel and facilities are as follows:
Limit decontamination of disposable respirators. Decontaminated respirators and respirators that have undergone bioburden reduction should be used only when there are insufficient supplies of new Filtering Facepiece Respirator (FFRs) or if you are unable to obtain any new respirators.
Transition away from a crisis capacity strategy for respirators, such as decontamination of N95 and other FFRs.
Increase inventory of available NIOSH-approved respirators—including N95s and other FFRs, elastomeric respirators, including new elastomeric respirators without an exhalation valve that can be used in the operating room, and powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs). Even if you are unable to obtain the respirator model that you would prefer, the FDA recommends that you obtain and use a new respirator before decontaminating or bioburden reducing a preferred disposable respirator.
Letter to Health Care Personnel and Facilities: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/letters-health-care-providers/fda-recommends-transition-use-decontaminated-disposable-respirators-letter-health-care-personnel-and