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Correlation between quantitative fit factors and workplace protection factors measured in actual workplace environments at a steel foundry.

Authors
Zhuang-Z; Coffey-CC; Jensen-PA; Campbell-DL; Lawrence-RB; Myers-WR
Source
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 2003 Nov/Dec; 64(6):730-738
NIOSHTIC No.
20023982
Abstract
Past studies have found little or no correlation between workplace protection factors (WPFs) and quantitative fit factors (FFs). This study investigated the effect of good- and poor-fitting half-facepiece, air-purifying respirators on protection in actual workplace environments at a steel foundry and the correlation between WPFs and FFs. Fifteen burners and welders, who wore respirators voluntarily, and chippers participated in this study. Each subject was fit-tested with two respirator models each with three sizes, for a total of six fit-tests. Models and sizes were assigned this way to provide a wide range of FFs among study participants. Each worker donned the respirator twice per day (at the beginning of the shift and following the lunch break) for 2 days. Quantitative FFs were first obtained for each donning using the PortaCount Plus in a separate room. Without redonning the respirators, workers performed normal work for 1 to 2 hours, and WPFs were measured by collecting ambient and in-facepiece samples simultaneously. A second fit-test was conducted without disturbing the respirator. FFs were obtained by averaging the results from the first and second fit-tests. The resulting FFs had a geometric mean (GM) of 400 (range=10-6010) and a geometric standard deviation (GSD) of 6.1. Of the 55 valid donnings, 43 were good fitting (FFs100) and 12 were poor fitting (FFs<100). The WPFs had a GM of 920 (range=13>230,000) and a GSD of 17.8. The WPFs were found to be significantly correlated with the FFs (R2=.55 and p-value=.0001). Therefore, FF was shown to be a meaningful indicator of respirator performance in actual workplace environments.
Keywords
Respiration; Respirators; Quantitative-analysis; Workplace-monitoring; Air-purification; Air-purifiers; Air-purifying-respirators; Work-environment; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Author Keywords: half-facepiece respirators; in-facepiece sampling; quantitative fit-test; workplace protection factors
Contact
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
CODEN
AIHAAP
Publication Date
20031101
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
2004
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
6
ISSN
0002-8894
NIOSH Division
NPPTL; DRDS
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
State
PA; WV
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