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Volume 13, Number 5—May 2007

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;

Main Article

Table 2

Orleans Parish participants’ experiences with respiratory protection during mold clean-up activities since Hurricane Katrina, March 2006*

Experience n/N (%)
Used mask or respirator
315/368 (86)
Type of mask or respirator used†

Noncertified mask (dust or surgical)
143/315 (45)
Certified respirator, type†
233/315 (74)
Disposable N95 filtering facepiece
192/233 (82)
Reusable half-face with cartridges
87/233 (37)
Reusable full-face with cartridges
4/233 (2)
Source of mask or respirator†

207/315 (66)
Nongovernmental organization‡
73/315 (23)
27/315 (9)
Relative or friend
24/315 (8)
Other source
16/315 (5)
Main source of information on use of mask or respirator

Manufacturer’s instructions
60/315 (19)
20/315 (6)
Instructions given at work
51/315 (16)
Store employee/clerk
5/315 (2)
Relative or friend
16/315 (5)
Internet site§
10/315 (3)
Other source
24/315 (8)
No information used
129/315 (41)
Conditions that would prompt replacing mask or respirator†

When it became dirty
163/312 (52)
When it became damaged
34/312 (11)
When it became harder to breathe through
25/312 (8)
Other¶ 131/312 (42)

*372 (68%) of 553 survey participants reported participating in mold clean-up activities since Hurricane Katrina. Data for some
characteristics were missing for some participants.
†Participants could choose >1 response; total >100%.
‡Includes Red Cross, Salvation Army, volunteer groups, and church groups.
§In 4 cases, Internet site was specified by name: Channel 6, Federal Emergency Management Agency, city of New Orleans, and
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
¶Write-in responses included various time intervals (e.g., every 3 h, daily, weekly, never) and other conditions such as when smelling
moldy odor or feeling sick.

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Page created: June 23, 2010
Page updated: June 23, 2010
Page reviewed: June 23, 2010
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.