Respiratory Protection: APF Proposal Divides Industry, Labor

One piece of OSHA rulemaking casting a big shadow this year, given the agency's modest regulatory agenda, is OSHA's proposal to amend the respiratory protection standard to include new assigned protection factors (APF).

NIOSH and industry stakeholders support the proposal, and in written comments submitted to OSHA, have praised the agency for doing its homework. But the AFL-CIO opposes OSHA's decision to grant an APF of 10 to all half-mask air purifying respirators.

"We believe the record supports a final rule that includes an APF of 10 for elastomeric half-masks and an APF of five for filtering facepieces and quarter-masks," wrote the AFL-CIO in its comments.

The contr

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