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Adequacy of six exercises for laboratory testing of respirator performance.

Zhuang-Z; Coffey-C; Jensen-P; Lawrence-R; Campbell-D
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2000 May; :58
Since respirator workplace studies had consistently found no correlation between quantitative fit-factors and workplace protection factors, a previous study took a new approach that compared fit-factors with actual exposure doses of 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2 trifluoroethane [Freon-113] received while wearing half-masks. In that study, ambient aerosol (AA) and corn oil (CHD) fit-test methods were found to be predictive of actual half-mask respirator performance. However, how many exercises should be used in laboratory testing of respirator performance? The purpose of this present study was to compare the fit-factors obtained from a more standard set of six exercises with the results from a set of 17 simulated workplace exercises. Each of 30 subjects wore up to 10 full-facepiece respirator models. The subjects were fit-tested with the PortaCount(TM) using six exercises to obtain fit-factors. Without redonning the respirator, the subjects entered a chamber and performed 17 simulated workplace exercises for 30 minutes, during which the performance of the respirator was measured with either the AA method or the CHD method. For the AA method, ambient aerosols were measured with the PortaCount. For the CHD method, corn oil was generated and measured with a photometer using a flow rate of 5 L/min and a deep probe. The overall average of fit-factors for the 17 exercises was defined as simulated workplace protection factor (SWPF). The logtransformed fit-factors were significantly correlated with the logtransformed SWPFs from the AA method (p < 0.0001, r2 = 0.95) and the results from the CHD method (p < 0.001, r2 = 0.90). Paired-sample comparisons indicated that fit-factors were not significantly different from the SWPFs by either AA or CHD method (p > 0.05). The results of this study suggest that the set of six exercises is adequate for laboratory testing of respirator performance.
Laboratory-techniques; Laboratory-testing; Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Air-purifying-respirators; Equipment-reliability; Performance-capability; Testing-equipment; Face-masks; Exposure-levels; Simulation-methods; Measurement-equipment; Exposure-chambers; Aerosols; Aerosol-particles; Filters; Filtration; Quality-standards; Sampling-methods
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida