B95: A new respirator for health care personnel

Megan E. Gosch, Ronald E. Shaffer, Aaron E. Eagan, Raymond J. Roberge, Victoria J. Davey, Lewis J. Radonovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Respiratory protection relies heavily on user compliance to be effective, but compliance among health care personnel is less than ideal. Methods: In 2008, the Department of Veterans Affairs formed the Project Better Respiratory Equipment using Advanced Technologies for Healthcare Employees (BREATHE) Working Group, composed of a variety of federal stakeholders, to discuss strategies for improving respirator compliance, including the need for more comfortable respirators. Results: The Working Group developed 28 desirable performance characteristics that can be grouped into 4 key themes: (1) respirators should perform their intended function safely and effectively; (2) respirators should support, not interfere, with occupational activities; (3) respirators should be comfortable and tolerable for the duration of wear; and (4) respiratory protective programs should comply with federal/state standards and guidelines and local policies. As a necessary next step, the Working Group identified the need for a new class of respirators, to be called "B95," which would better address the unique needs of health care personnel. Conclusion: This article summarizes the outputs of the Project BREATHE Working Group and provides a national strategy to develop clinically validated respirator test methods, to promulgate B95 respirator standards, and to invent novel design features, which together will lead to commercialized B95 respirators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1224-1230
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Infection control
  • N95
  • Occupational health
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Respiratory protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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