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From page 1...
... are designed primarily to protect others nearby against infectious droplets produced by their wearers. Health care workers, for example, wear medical masks to avoid spreading infectious agents to their patients and use respirators, such as N95 filtering facepiece respirators, to protect themselves from becoming infected with such airborne agents as SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19)
From page 2...
... The COVID-19 pandemic also exposed severe limitations in the capacity of existing supply chains to meet demands for respiratory protective devices during public health emergencies. RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE Increasing levels of air pollution, fueled in part by wildfires, and growing recognition of the importance of airborne transmission of infectious agents have focused attention on the need for respiratory protection against hazards beyond those faced by the small percentage of workers covered by RPPs.
From page 3...
... These efforts will need to be built on a strong scientific foundation, and the committee also recommends that NIOSH conduct additional research to better understand and meet the needs of workers, including members of the most vulnerable and underserved populations, facing inhalation hazards. While the COVID-19 pandemic was not the driving force for this report, the pandemic revealed gaps needing urgent attention, providing insights into current respiratory protection practices and systems for protecting workers and the public during a crisis, and pointing to what needs to change in the future.
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