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Fitting characteristics of eighteen N95 filtering-facepiece respirators.

Authors
Coffey-CC; Lawrence-RB; Campbell-DL; Zhuang-Z; Calvert-CA; Jensen-PA
Source
J Occup Environ Hyg 2004 Apr; 1(4):262-271
NIOSHTIC No.
20024599
Abstract
Four performance measures were used to evaluate the fitting characteristics of 18 models of N95 filtering-facepiece respirators: (1) the 5th percentile simulated workplace protection factor (SWPF) value, (2) the shift average SWPF value, (3) the h-value, and (4) the assignment error. The effect of fit-testing on the level of protection provided by the respirators was also evaluated. The respirators were tested on a panel of 25 subjects with various face sizes. Simulated workplace protection factor values, determined from six total penetration (face-seal leakage plus filter penetration) tests with re-donning between each test, were used to indicate respirator performance. Five fit-tests were used: Bitrex, saccharin, generated aerosol corrected for filter penetration, PortaCount. Plus corrected for filter penetration, and the PortaCount Plus with the N95-Companion accessory. Without fit-testing, the 5th percentile SWPF for all models combined was 2.9 with individual model values ranging from 1.3 to 48.0. Passing a fit-test generally resulted in an increase in protection. In addition, the h-value of each respirator was computed. The h-value has been determined to be the population fraction of individuals who will obtain an adequate level of protection (i.e., SWPF =10, which is the expected level of protection for half-facepiece respirators) when a respirator is selected and donned (including a user seal check) in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions without fit-testing. The h-value for all models combined was 0.74 (i.e., 74% of all donnings resulted in an adequate level of protection), with individual model h-values ranging from 0.31 to 0.99. Only three models had h-values above 0.95. Higher SWPF values were achieved by excluding SWPF values determined for test subject/respirator combinations that failed a fit-test. The improvement was greatest for respirator models with lower h-values. Using the concepts of shift average and assignment error to measure respirator performance yielded similar results. The highest level of protection was provided by passing a fit-test with a respirator having good fitting characteristics.
Keywords
Respirators; Face-masks; Personal-protective-equipment; Respiratory-equipment; Models; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Protective-equipment; Author Keywords: filtering-facepiece; fit-test; respirator; simulated workplace protection factor
Contact
Christopher C. Coffey, Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NIOSH, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
CODEN
JOEHA2
Publication Date
20040401
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
ccoffey@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2004
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
1545-9624
NIOSH Division
DRDS; NPPTL
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
State
WV; PA
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