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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Medical Devices

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Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is any type of face mask, glove, or clothing that acts as a barrier between infectious materials and the skin, mouth, nose, or eyes (mucous membranes). When used properly, personal protective equipment can help prevent the spread of infection from one person to another.

During a flu outbreak, government agencies may recommend that you protect yourself from infection by using a face mask, N95 respirator, or other type of equipment. The information on this Web site will help you learn the difference between facemasks and respirators and will give you information about how to use these and other type of personal protective equipment.


Contact FDA

CDRH-Center for Devices and Radiological Health

Food and Drug Administration

10903 New Hampshire Avenue


Silver Spring, MD 20993