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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;

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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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