In the field of Occupational Safety and Health, respirators (respiratory personal protective equipment, RPPE) have been widely used in industry. More recently, the possibility of bioterrorism and/or epidemics as well as the perception of risk increase the likelihood of much more widespread respirator use. Persons with mild respiratory impairments or individuals who develop mild respiratory impairments as a consequence of terrorism and/or epidemic may be required to use respirators rather than being excluded from many jobs. This project will extend prior research about respirator effects in relatively healthy individuals to persons with mild respiratory impairments. Four groups of subjects will be studied: normal, COPD, chronic rhinitis, asthma. Each subject will be studied in a controlled exercise laboratory using respirator surrogate loads (inspiratory resistance, expiratory resistance, dead space). In addition, each will be studied during simulated """"""""real world"""""""" work of a sedentary or moderate exertion level using an N95 and a full face mask respirator. Measures will include physiologic parameters, subjective ratings, and estimates of proper utilization. Over three years, approximately 140 subjects will participate. The project should characterize the response patterns of these individual groups as well as delineate the effects of different components of respirator loads. The information may be useful for policy establishment (e.g., shelter in place vs. respirator use), designing better respirators, and worker selection/counseling. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZOH1-SPC (10))
Program Officer
Board, Susan
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University of California Los Angeles
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
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Hu, Chengcheng; Harber, Philip; Su, Jing (2016) Predicting future protection of respirator users: Statistical approaches and practical implications. J Occup Environ Hyg 13:393-400
Harber, Philip; Boumis, Robert J; Su, Jing et al. (2013) Comparison of three respirator user training methods. J Occup Environ Med 55:1484-8
Harber, Philip; Boumis, Robert J; Su, Jing et al. (2013) Component analysis of respirator user training. J Occup Environ Hyg 10:556-63
Harber, Philip; Yun, David; Santiago, Silverio et al. (2011) Respirator impact on work task performance. J Occup Environ Med 53:22-6
Wu, Samantha; Harber, Philip; Yun, David et al. (2011) Anxiety during respirator use: comparison of two respirator types. J Occup Environ Hyg 8:123-8
Harber, Philip; Santiago, Silverio; Wu, Samantha et al. (2010) Subjective response to respirator type: effect of disease status and gender. J Occup Environ Med 52:150-4
Harber, Philip; Santiago, Silverio; Bansal, Siddharth et al. (2010) Respirator physiologic impact in persons with mild respiratory disease. J Occup Environ Med 52:155-62
Bansal, Siddharth; Harber, Philip; Yun, David et al. (2009) Respirator physiological effects under simulated work conditions. J Occup Environ Hyg 6:221-7
Harber, Philip; Bansal, Siddharth; Santiago, Silverio et al. (2009) Multidomain subjective response to respirator use during simulated work. J Occup Environ Med 51:38-45