It can make it more difficult for you to breathe. Thomas Galassi, Director 3M offers PAPR systems with headtops designed to accommodate limited facial hair, simplifying protection for more of … Take a look at a CDC infographic, which shows 36 different facial hair styles and provides names for each of them, just in case you want to refer to your face in the third person. Facial hair will cause the respirator to leak, so users should be clean-shaven. Currently, I am. Any type of extended sideburns such as mutton chops or the Hulihee could cross this area. That program should include defining facial hair policies if tight-fitting respirator masks are used. So don’t wear a respirator until you actually have to do so. According to the CDC, “Facial hair that lies along the sealing area of a respirator, such as beards, sideburns, or some mustaches, will interfere with respirators that rely on a tight … The notice applies to all primary seals of tight-fitting full- and half-facepiece respirators and to tight-fitting respirator designs that rely on a neck dam seal. Well, a CDC info-graphic has the answer. We hope you find this information helpful. Options for Limited Facial Hair. With some respirator systems, beards and heavy sideburns can be a problem, compromising the seal of certain facepieces. Facial hair is allowed as long as it does not protrude through the respirator seal or extend far enough to interfere with the device’s valve function.” OSHA and ANSI Z88.10-2010 prohibit fit testing respirators when facial hair is at the sealing surface of the respirator. This is the kind of mask that may protect you against small airborne microbes like the COVID-19 causing coronavirus if the mask is worn properly. So don’t expect to attend a 1990’s retro Beverly Hills 90210 cos-party and have a snug N95 respirator at the same time. Unlike N95 respirators that require a close shave, surgical masks don’t. cdc facial hair filtering facepiece respirators coronavirus. CDC. The effect of facial hair on the quality of fit obtained while wearing a tight-fitting respirator has been and continues to be a controversial subject. Cam Lock Ltd is one of the world’s leading specialists in the design and manufacture of personal protection life support systems. Follow me on Twitter (@bruce_y_lee) but don’t ask me if I know martial arts. "Facial hair is a common reason that someone cannot be fit tested." Response: The Respiratory Protection standard, paragraph 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A), states that respirators shall not be worn when facial hair comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function. As a replacement, you can choose any style on the CDC info-graphic that has a green check mark and be OK. Well, almost any of them. If you are planning on wearing a respirator on a date, stop right there. The areas of the skin, which contact the face or neck seal and nosecup seal, must be free of any hair. However, there are several safety- and human resources-related considerations. Besides being in limited supply, there are a number of reasons why wearing a P2/N95 respirator is not advisable unless you are a health care worker or taking care of someone who may be infected. Facial Hair & Respirator Fit Testing Policy Background The purpose of this technical data bulletin is to reiterate 3M’s position on workers with facial hair and respirator fit testing based on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard [29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)]. To assure that you are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA’s website at http://www.osha.gov. Without a solid fit, the respirator cannot protect against gases, particles and other unwanted airborne materials that can enter an employee's mouth and nose. Facial hair is allowed as long as it does not protrude under the respirator seal, or extend far enough to interfere with the device's valve function. General Information about Fit-Testing. Individuals must be clean-shaven to be fit tested, and also to wear an N95 or any other type of tight-fitting respirators effectively.Per Cal/OSHA standard, in situations where respiratory protection is a requirement, facial hair is only permitted if it does not cross the sealing surface of the tight-fitting respirator. In fact, if you insist on wearing such a facial hairstyle, you may want to wear a mask, like all the time. For 2019 they include: Serious Violation – $13,260.00. The info-graphic does not specifically name the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak. Individuals with mustaches and short goatees that do not interfere with the seal of the respirator can be fit tested and wear a respirator. Facial hair in the temple region of the face may or may not impact on the facial seal area of the respirator. Any substantial amount of chin hair will probably interfere with the seal. Facial hair that lies along the sealing area of a respirator, such as beards, sideburns, or some mustaches, will interfere with respirators that rely on a tight facepiece seal to achieve maximum protection," states the CDC page for the No Shave November campaign. DUCKIAIL VERIDI GARIBA DI BAND:HO:lZ Explains why you need to be clean shaven to make sure your respirator can protect you from breathing in contaminants. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. That includes small, neat beards or goatees that fit within a respirator. See the diagram below from NIOSH to use as a guide for … That would be weird. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images), An explosion of stubble occurred when actor Brad, Pitt met up with actor Bradley Cooper. In general, however, beards present serious problems for tight-fitting facepiece respirators because their texture and density vary daily, causing unreliable respirator fit and, therefore, present a higher potential for leakage. If you are preparing for a date by grooming your facial hair and getting ready to wear a respirator mask, you are in luck. Standard surgical masks won’t really protect you against small microbes like viruses. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov. Facial hair is allowed as long as it does not protrude under the respirator seal, or extend far enough to interfere with the device’s valve function. If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseated, leave the patient room, remove your respirator, and get medical attention. OSHA mandates that all employers requiring respirator usage have a written program. Think about it. Facial Hair Friendly Respirators If you’re looking to get ready for No Shave November or you just hired an employee with facial hair, here are some popular facial hair respirators to keep in mind. I nt,e nded for wo rk,e rs who wear Ug ht-tt . Short mustaches, sideburns, and small goatees that are neatly trimmed so that no hair compromises the seal of the respirator usually do not present a hazard and, therefore, do not violate paragraph 1910.134(g)(1)(i). Your facial hair can really affect your ability to maintain this seal. No, not a sea mammal with flippers. Workers can still rock some styles: Short mustaches, sideburns and small goatees, when neatly trimmed, may fit OSHA’s requirements for tight-fitting respirator use. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190. Facial hair that lies along the sealing area of a respirator, such as beards, sideburns, or some mustaches, will interfere with respirators that rely on a tight facepiece seal to achieve maximum protection. Is actor Robert Downey Jr., wondering, "can I a, wear an N95 respirator with my circle beard?" Response: The Respiratory Protection standard, paragraph 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A), states that respirators shall not be worn when facial hair comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function. 3. In fact, some on social media have said that the CDC actually put this reference together in 2017 as general guidance for P2/N95 respirator use, which are much less permeable than standard surgical masks. You can see that some have green check marks while others have big red X’s. Not an actual toothbrush, because good dental hygiene is important, but the facial hairstyle listed as the “Toothbrush” on the CDC infographic. This includes the Circle Beard, which looks like what Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark character sports, the Imperial, the Extended Goatee, and the Van Dyke, a style named after the 17th-century Flemish painter and not Dick van Dyke, who starred in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The PureFlo ESM+ PF60 PAPR Welding Helmet PR05801-_-1_1 is a self-contained head mounted powered air-purifying respirator for those that work in heavy-duty industries. Beard hair can render a respirator nearly useless. Take a look at a CDC infographic, which shows 36 different facial hair styles and provides names for each of them, just in case you want to refer to your face in the … I have authored over 200 scientific publications and three books. The Bradley Cooper O’Clock shadow or any type of extensive stubble may be enough to lift the edges of the mask off of your face. I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. That’s because respirators can only work if you have a good seal. You may, however, want to hold off on a Toothbrush. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for National Board of Review), Getty Images for National Board of Review, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights. The Soul Patch is the style in the lower left hand corner of the picture accompanying this tweet: Other names for the Soul Patch are the Douche Tag or Dork Tuft, names that are typically not used by the person who has the Soul Patch. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a guide for you. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. OSHA has addressed similar questions and outlined the Agency’s interpretation in letters posted on OSHA’s public website, www.osha.gov. Many people hold strong opinions on both sides of the issue, but it is not opinion that is needed. Facial hair is allowed as long as it does not protrude under the respirator seal, or extend far enough to interfere with the device's valve function. OSHA’s requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. There's little, if any, debate about the value of respirators in general, but there is an issue that persists in terms of safe and compliant usage. Say bye-bye to your French Fork, Ducktail, Verdi, Garibaldi, or Bandholz. Surgical masks help prevent contamination when a person coughs or sneezes. Facial hair is a common reason that someone cannot be fit tested. Facial hair that lies along the sealing area of a respirator, such as beards, sideburns, or some mustaches, will interfere with respirators that rely on a tight facepiece seal … Not only would wearing a mask scream “please don’t give me a second date,” the CDC “does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19,” according to their website. This letter constitutes OSHA’s interpretation only of the requirements herein, and may not be applicable to any questions not delineated within your original correspondence. See 3/7/2003 and 4/1/2011 letters of interpretation to Senator Levin and Mr. Randy Southard, respectively (copies enclosed). Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiratory Protection Standard, Inspection Procedures for the Respiratory Protection Standard, http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/respiratoryprotection/index.html, Severe Storm and Flood Recovery Assistance. Another part of your face that greatly affects mask fit is the area just below your sideburns, assuming that your sideburns are not unusually long. Facial hair and respirators: What's acceptable, what isn't "Respirator safety is a vital consideration for a variety of businesses." i g respirators . © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Facial hair can impact the effectiveness of the face seal. I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. A notice published by NIOSH last month updates the agency’s position regarding facial hair and the selection and use of respiratory protective devices, and clarifies the NIOSH definition of respirator-sealing surfaces. Wearing a tinted glasses along with the soul patch will not affect the fit of the mask but may signal that you are undergoing a mid-life crisis. OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Thank you for your letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Facial hair between the skin and face seal of the respirator will interfere with the seal of the respirator. Rather, in this case, a good seal means a tight fit between your face and the mask so that air and viruses can’t leak under the edges of the mask. Your letter has been referred to the Directorate of Enforcement Programs for an answer to your question. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Question: If an employee with a neatly trimmed goatee is wearing a respirator and it does not interfere with the seal of the face piece or valve function, and has passed a fit test, does this meet the intent of the OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard? An employer may be required to provide and pay for a loose-fitting respirator such as a PAPR if an employee’s facial hair prevents him from wearing a tight-fitting respirator. Facial hair is allowed as long as it does not protrude under the respirator seal, or extend far enough to interfere with the device's valve function. My previous positions include serving as Executive Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins University, Associate Professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, and Senior Manager at Quintiles Transnational, working in biotechnology equity research at Montgomery Securities, and co-founding a biotechnology/bioinformatics company. Response: The Respiratory Protection standard, paragraph 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A), states that respirators shall not be worn when facial hair comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function. An employee who is required to wear a respirator may have hair that falls under the respirator straps, but is not permitted to have hair that interferes with the respirator's sealing surface. From time to time, letters are affected when the agency updates a standard, a legal decision impacts a standard, or changes in technology affect the interpretation. Since the mask would cover the entirety of your nose as well as your mouth, facial hair restricted to above your lip probably won’t interfere with the mask’s fit, unless of course your mustache is the size of a musk rat. My work has included developing computational approaches, models, and tools to help health and healthcare decision makers in all continents (except for Antarctica) and has been supported by a wide variety of sponsors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NIH, AHRQ, CDC, UNICEF, USAID and the Global Fund. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. MOST RESPIRATORY PROTECTION CITATIONS ARE CONSIDERED SERIOUS. If you had a Jason Mamoa Aquaman beard, how could you possibly have a mask fit tightly on your face? STUBB ' E L,ONG STUB E . If you do have to wear a respirator, fear the beard. In fact, use of facemasks should be limited to those who show COVID-19 symptoms, health care workers, and others who are taking care of someone who may be infected. I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. CLEAN SHAVEN . As they say in real estate, location, location, location. All Rights Reserved. All facial hair under the chin or cheeks is prohibited for respirator wearing use. Not all facial hair is out of bounds, however. With an impressive range of products including aircrew oxygen masks, CBRN Respirators, industrial working respirators, emergency escape sets and fire fighter breathing apparatus, Cam Lock leads the industry in respiratory life support. These two guidance documents and others can be found on the Respiratory Protection Safety and Health Topics page at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/respiratoryprotection/index.html. Note that the fines for OSHA Citations have increased dramatically in the past several years. And having a beard or facial hair does not "trap" the virus closer to your face. Plus, after a while, as the respirator becomes more and more moist from water droplets in the air and your saliva-laden breath, it loses its ability to properly filter out small particles and microbes. This letter constitutes OSHA’s interpretation of the requirements discussed. 606 F Avenue However, some other types of respirators do not require a face seal, and thus, usually can be worn with facial hair, such as loose fitting powered air-purifying respirators and hooded powered air-purifying respirators. If your facial hair isn’t where the edge of the mask would normally rest, you may be OK with keeping it there. Facial hair and FFP3 respirators *Ensure that hair does not cross the respirator sealing surface For any style, hair should not cross or interfere with the respirator sealing surface. Facial Hairstyles and Filtering Facepiece Respirators . N95 respirators are not designed for children or people with facial hair. Rather what is needed is quantitative study of th … Facial hair and respirators. Media outlets stumbled on a 2017 info­graphic from the Centers for Disease Control showing which facial hair styles were OK with a standard respirator … Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma 73523. One example is this tweet, which marveled at the hairy care involved in putting this infographic together: That’s a lot of hairy styles, and they all don’t go in one direction. In addition, OSHA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiratory Protection Standard (#3384) and the compliance directive, Inspection Procedures for the Respiratory Protection Standard, CPL 02-00-158, provide additional information. Throw into this group the Chin Curtain, a style that would allow you to easily answer the question, “does the curtain match the drapes?”. Therefore, if you are going to go clean shaven, make sure that it is really clean and not dorm room toilet bowl clean. However, according to a 2017 graphic regarding facial hair and respirator use shared by the health organisation, having a beard, stubble, or mutton … Currently, I am a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health, Executive Director of PHICOR (@PHICORteam), Professor By Courtesy at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and founder and CEO of Symsilico. Options for Use with Limited Facial Hair With any tight-fitting respirator, beards and other facial hair can be a problem, compromising the face … Before you Brazilian wax your face, you don’t necessarily have to be completely clean shaven to achieve such a seal. Many OSHA Citations have been issued for facial hair along the respirator sealing surface. For example, what the CDC calls a Soul Patch, which is a small patch or tuft of hair growing directly under your bottom lip, may not interfere with the mask’s fit. Even if you don’t have an official beard that has a name and that you can stroke like a Bond villain’s kitten, beware of stubble. Facial hair can be frustrating when it comes to wearing a respirator because you need a tight facial seal for the respirator to work as intended. Your paraphrased question and our response is below. Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. Your letter requested clarification on OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, which addresses facial hair and respirator fit. If the respirator has an exhalation valve, hair within the sealed mask area should not impinge upon or contact the valve. Dr. Thomas explained that … Mr. Matthew Sands Our letters of interpretation do not create new or additional requirements but rather explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances. So even if this may be an older info-graphic, it still made the rounds and got reactions on social media. Beards usually require the use of a full-face respirator or hooded respirator to achieve a complete seal. It also tells you which facial hair styles would and would not work well with a “filtering facepiece respirator” like the P2/N95 respirator. Some types of facial hair are acceptable as long as the facial hair does not lie along the sealing area of the respirator. Facial hair that lies along the sealing area of a respirator, such as beards, sideburns, or mustaches will interfere with respirators that rely on a tight facepiece fit to achieve maximum protection. Therefore, the Zorro, Lampshade, Walrus, Handlebar, Pencil, or Zappa should be fine. FR NCH ORK . 3M offers a broad range of full-face and hooded respirators. (Photo by The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images), When you see actor Jason Mamoa, seen here with, Aquaman co-star Amber Heard and director James Wan, is your first question, "how do I fit a respirator on him?" 3M offers a broad range of full-face and hooded respirators CFR 1910.134, which addresses hair... Http: //www.osha.gov/SLTC/respiratoryprotection/index.html do so my circle beard? similar questions and outlined the Agency ’ s interpretation letters. S Respiratory Protection Safety and Health be a problem, compromising the seal of certain facepieces mutton! 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T really protect you against small microbes like viruses respectively ( copies enclosed ) Enforcement... Your respirator, and regulations Programs for an answer to your question can impact the effectiveness of respirator. The patient room, remove your respirator, and get medical attention of any hair temple region of the has... 2019 they include: Serious Violation – $ 13,260.00 could cross this area head mounted powered air-purifying for! All facial hair is a common reason that someone can not be fit.. Are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA 's interpretation the... And three books if the respirator lightheaded, or Zappa should be fine that do not with...