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New respirator fit test panels representing the current Chinese civilian workers.

Chen-W; Zhuang-Z; Benson-S; Du-L; Yu-D; Landsittel-D; Wang-L; Viscusi-D; Shaffer-RE
Ann Occup Hyg 2009 Apr; 53(3):297-305
Respirator fit test panels provide an objective tool for selecting representative human test subjects based upon their facial characteristics for use in research, product development, testing and certification. Fit test panels were typically based upon anthropometric data such as the 19671968 survey of American military personnel. In this study, the objectives were to: (i) evaluate the applicability of the recently developed National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) respirator fit test panels for Chinese workers and (ii) develop new respirator fit test panels using the Chinese survey data. Overall, 95% of the workers in the Chinese survey fall within the NIOSH bivariate and principal component analysis (PCA) panels, suggesting that these panels would also be appropriate for the Chinese population. However, distribution of the subject across the panels was not uniform; only 6.3% of survey participants fell into five cells of the bivariate panel and only 7.2% were found within three cells of the PCA panel. Therefore, new respirator fit test panels with subject dimensions and distributions specific to Chinese workers may be beneficial for certain applications. Two new respirator fit test panels were developed with the same techniques used to create the NIOSH panels. All measurements were weighted to match age and gender distributions of the Chinese population from the 2005 census. The bivariate approach used face length and face width measurements, and the PCA panel was developed using the first two principal components obtained from a set of 10 facial dimensions. Respirators designed to fit these Chinese worker-specific panels are also likely to accommodate >95% of Chinese workers.
Respirators; Respiration; Military-personnel; Demographic-characteristics; Sex-factors; Anthropometry; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Models; Measurement-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Author Keywords: civilian workers; fit test panels; respirators; respirator sizing
Weihong Chen, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and MOE Key Lab of Environmental and Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Hangkong Lu 13, Wuhan 430030, Hubei, People's R
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Annals of Occupational Hygiene