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Development of Computer-Aided

Face-Fit Evaluation Methods - FY12

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.


  • Establish up-to-date respirator fit-test panels and test headforms to be incorporated into the national and ISO standards
  • Develop an anthropometric database of Asian workers
  • Investigate the correlation between 3 -D parameters and face fit
Head form and fit test panel chart

Applicable Standards

  • ISO TC94 SC15 WG1 PG5
  • 29 CFR Part 1910.134

Key Partners

  • Texas Tech University
  • Canada National Research Council
  • Tongji Medical College, China
  • Florida State University
  • NIOH, South Africa
  • Instituto de Salud Pública (ISP), Chile



  • OSHA
  • MSHA
  • ANSI
  • ISO
  • Respirator Users
  • Manufacturers
Publication Cover Assessment of the NIOSH Head and Face Anthropometric Survey of U S Respirator Users and 3 D Head form

Project Scope

  • Develop an anthropometric survey detailing the face size distributions of respirator users using both traditional measurement methods and three-dimensional (3-D) scanning systems
  • Investigate the extent to which facial features can predict respirator fit and protection
  • Develop respirator fit test panels using the traditional bivariate approach and the principal component analysis (PCA)
  • Develop test head forms


  • Q1 Complete shape analysis by Dennis Slice
  • Q2 Complete the report for NRC Canada contract
  • Q3 Submit a paper on shape variations of U.S. workers to OD
  • Q4 Submit a paper on headforms for Chinese workers to OD


  • Manuscripts published or submitted to peer review journals (16)
  • Presentations at conferences (21)
  • Standards committee meetings & public meetings (12)


  • The techniques and methods developed in this study resulted in the ability of manufacturers to design respirators with improved face-fitting characteristics (9 outcomes were achieved since 2011)
  • Fit Test Panel and head forms incorporated in respirator testing and certification and ISO standards
  • Outputs have been cited 60 times in the peer-reviewed literature
  • Chile and South Africa have adopted the anthropometric survey methodology for studies on the characteristics of their populations
Page last updated: April 17, 2012
Page last reviewed: April 17, 2012
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory