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Volume 13, Number 5—May 2007

Research

Respirator Donning in Post-Hurricane New Orleans

Kristin J. Cummings*†Comments to Author , Jean Cox-Ganser*, Margaret A. Riggs†‡, Nicole Edwards*, and Kathleen Kreiss*
Author affiliations: *National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; †Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; ‡National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA;

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Table 1

Characteristics of Orleans Parish participants, March 2006*

Characteristic Values
Age in y, median, range (N = 547)
50, 18–89
Male, n/N (%)
292/553 (53)
Hispanic, n/N (%)
21/548 (4)
Race, n/N (%)†

Caucasian
241/548 (44)
African-American or black
296/548 (54)
Asian
20/548 (4)
American Indian or Alaska Native
21/548 (4)
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
5/548 (1)
Relationship to home, n/N (%)‡

Owner
415/553 (75)
Renter
80/553 (14)
Other (includes relatives, friends, other associates)
58/553 (10)
Smoking status, n/N (%)

Current
127/551 (23)
Former
123/551 (22)
Never
301/551 (55)
Physician-diagnosed asthma, n/N (%)
68/553 (12)
Flood level in feet,‡ median, range (N = 527)
4, 0–18
Water entry due to roof or window damage,‡ n/N (%)
300/547 (55)
Mold extent,‡ n/N (%)

None
143/550 (26)
<50% of walls and ceilings
213/550 (39)
≥50% of walls and ceilings
179/550 (33)
Do not know
15/550 (3)
Employed in mold remediation, n/N (%)
45/553 (8)
Ever used mask or respirator, n/N (%)
439/553 (79)
Ever had respirator fit test,§ n/N (%)
80/543 (15)
Activities in water-damaged/moldy home since Katrina

Been inside, n/N (%)
467/551 (85)
Participated in clean-up, n/N (%)
372/551 (68)
No. of homes cleaned (N = 368), median, range
2, 1–50
No. with mold extent ≥50% (N = 367), median, range
1, 0–25
Still participating in clean-up activities, n/N (%) 183/358 (51)

*Data for some characteristics were missing for some participants.
†Participants could select >1 racial category; total >100%.
‡Home at which participant was encountered and interviewed.
§“Fit test” was defined in the questionnaire as “a test in which a technician measures how well the respirator fits your face during
activities such as talking and moving your head. It could involve smelling smoke, tasting something sweet or bitter, or a special
machine that counts particles.”

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