Personal protective equipment Respiratory protection

NIOSH announces new manikin technology for respirator testing

Washington – NIOSH has developed a new robotic manikin headform that will be used for respirator fit research.

In a joint project with the Air Force Research Laboratory and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, researchers at NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory used the measurements of almost 4,000 people to create five robotic “talking heads” with artificial skin and lips that function similar to a human. Researchers can use the heads to test inward leakage or how aerosol particles can pass through the respirator and put workers at risk for exposure.

NIOSH stated the new headforms represent a significant advancement from older rubber or plastic headforms, which the respirator seal could not attach to in the same way as skin.