GLOSSARY

# A C F H I M N O P R S T U V

29 CFR 1910.134

OSHA’s revised Respiratory Protection Standard that provides procedures specific to worksites and are intended to prevent workers from inhaling harmful contaminants in the workplaces (Source).

APR

Air-purifying respirators (APRs) work by removing gases, vapors, aerosols (airborne droplets and solid particles), or a combination of contaminants from the air through the use of filters, cartridges, or canisters (Source).

ASTM International

ASTM International is an international standards organization that develops and publishes testing methods specifications and performance standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services – such as those in healthcare. The development of such documents is conducted by volunteers from producers, users, consumers, government, and academia (Source).

CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a national public health institute in the United States that works to protect public health and safety through the control and prevention of disease, injury, and disability in the United States and internationally (Source).

Coronavirus

A group of viruses named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. While people around the world commonly get infected with human coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1, coronavirus can also infect animals and evolve to become a new human coronavirus, such as MERS, SARS, and COVID-19 (Source).

FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices (Source).

fit test

Tests the mask-to-face seal of a respirator and needs to be annually checked with either qualitative or quantitative methods to determine whether the mask provides an acceptable fit to a wearer. The qualitative fit test procedures rely on a subjective sensation (taste, irritation, smell) of the respirator wearer to a particular test agent while the quantitative use measuring instruments to measure face seal leakage (Source).

Fluid-Resistance Test (ASTM F 1862)

This test method evaluates the resistance of a medical face mask to penetration by a small volume (~2 mL) of synthetic blood at a high velocity (80 mmHg, 120 mmHg, or 160 mmHg). The mask either passes or fails based on visual evidence of synthetic blood penetration. Based on their test scores, ASTM assigns a numerical rating for the barrier performance of the material:

Level 1 – light fluid barrier

Level 2 – moderate fluid barrier

Level 3 – highest fluid barrier

(Source)

Hand hygiene

Any action of hygienic hand antisepsis in order to reduce transient microbial flora, generally performed either by handrubbing with an alcohol-based formulation or handwashing with plain or antimicrobial soap and water (Source).

HHS

Tests the mask-to-face seal of a respirator and needs to be annually checked with either qualitative or quantitative methods to determine whether the mask provides an acceptable fit to a wearer. The qualitative fit test procedures rely on a subjective sensation (taste, irritation, smell) of the respirator wearer to a particular test agent while the quantitative use measuring instruments to measure face seal leakage (Source).

Immunocompromised

Having a weakened immune system, which causes the individual to have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases (Source).

Mycobacteria

Bacteria with a thick, waxy coat that makes them more resistant to chemical germicides than other types of vegetative bacteria. Tuberculosis bacillus is a Mycobacterium (Source).

N95 respirator

A respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. NIOSH requires a respirator to pass the 0.3 micron sodium chloride test at 95% efficiency to be labeled an N95. The ”N” stands for ”not resistant to oil penetration”. OSHA requires that a respiratory protection program be developed for the proper use of respirators including written procedures, medical screening, training, and fit testing (Source).

niosh

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. As part of the CDC within the HHS, NIOSH helps assure safe and healthful working conditions by conducting scientific research, developing guidance and authoritative recommendations, disseminating information, and responding to requests for workplace health hazard evaluations (Source).

npptl

The National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) is the division within NIOSH responsible for the certification and approval of respirators for use in occupational settings, including those under the jurisdiction of OSHA (Source).

osha

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor tasked with maintaining safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance (Source).

outbreak

An increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected to a geographic area (Source).

pandemic

An epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people (Source).

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. PPE may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits (Source).

respirator

A personal protective device that is worn on the face, covers at least the nose and mouth, and is used to reduce the wearer’s risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles (including dust particles and infectious agents), gases, or vapors (Source).

sanitizer

Agent that reduces the number of bacterial contaminants to safe levels as judged by public health requirements. Commonly used with substances applied to inanimate objects. According to the protocol for the official sanitizer test, a sanitizer is a chemical that kills 99.999% of the specific test bacteria in 30 seconds under the conditions of the test (Source).

shelf life

Length of time an undiluted or use dilution of a product can remain active and effective (Source).

TB

Tuberculosis (TB) is a respiratory illness caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB is considered to be transmitted by the airborne route and therefore a respirator, N95 or higher, is recommended for healthcare workers attending TB patients (Source).

transmission

Refers to the way germs are moved to the susceptible person. There are a few general ways that germs travel in healthcare settings – through contact, sprays and splashes, inhalation, and sharps injuries (Source).

user seal check

A procedure conducted by the respirator wearer to determine if the respirator is being properly worn. After donning a disposable respirator, the respirator user can check the seal by cupping the hands over the respirator and exhaling. Then, feel along the edges to determine if there is any leakage (Source).

virus

A virus is a small collection of genetic code, either DNA or RNA, surrounded by a protein coat. A virus cannot replicate alone and must infect cells and use components of the host cell to make copies of themselves. Because viruses don’t have the same components as bacteria, they cannot be killed by antibiotics; only antiviral medications or vaccines can eliminate or reduce the severity of viral diseases, including AIDS, COVID-19, measles and smallpox (Source).