Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2011 09:53:44 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Norwood, Brad" <Brad.Norwood**At_Symbol_Here**ARISTALABS.COM>
Subject: Do surgical masks = 'respirators'?

As an analytical laboratory, we operate under the Laboratory Standard 1910.1450 of the OSHA regulations.  We have excellent engineering cont rols, and have done monitoring for the the atmosphere contaminants that wou ld be of concern.  We don’t meet the OSHA threshold for any of those.
That being said, we sometimes have to grind samples in knife mills, an d this can generate some dust (though still well below the threshold).  ; Per 1910.134 Appendix D ( ARDS&p_id=9784) we conduct and document training to ensure that our employees have a firm b asis upon which to choose a dust mask appropriate to their task and comfort .
Now, my toxicology group wants to order surgical masks, and since 1910 .134 defines a “respirator” as:
Filtering facepiece (dust mask) means a negative pressur e particulate respirator with a filter as an integral part of the facepiece or with the entire facepiece composed of the filtering medium (emph asis added).
In light of the above definition, I am forced to ask:  is a surgi cal mask considered a ‘respirator’?  Do I now need to docu ment a) that there is no condition which requires use of a respirato r/surgical mask/form of protection in the toxicology section and b) that if not, all of the toxicologists are also trained in accordance with Appendix D to 1910.134?
Dr. Bradley K. Norwood
Laboratory Director
Arista Laboratories
1941 Reymet Road
Richmond, VA  23237
(804) 271-5572 ext. 307
(804) 641-4641 (cell)
************** D i s c l a i m e r ***************
This e-mail message is confidential and may contain legally privileg ed information. If you are not the intended recipient you should not read, copy, distribute, disclose or otherwise use the information in this e-mail. Please also telephone us (804-271-5572), or fax us (804-271-5594), immediately and delete the message from your syst em. E-mail may be susceptible to data corruption, interception and unauthor ized amendment, and we do not accept liability to such corruption, intercep tion or amendment or the consequences thereof.

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.