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Evaluation of sampling probes for fit testing N95 filtering facepiece respirators.

Authors
Bergman-MS; Viscusi-DJ; Zhuang-Z; Newcomb-WE
Source
Ann Occup Hyg 2013 May; 57(4):507-518
NIOSHTIC No.
20042015
Abstract
Previous studies have shown a sampling probe bias for measuring fit factors (FFs) in respirator facepieces. This study was conducted to evaluate three sampling probes for fit testing NIOSH-certified N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs). Two phases of fit test experiments were conducted incorporating 'side-by-side' probe mounting: (i) flush probe versus deep probe and (ii) flush probe versus disc probe. Seven test subjects in Phase 1 and six subjects in Phase 2 were fit tested with one to three N95 FFR models for a total of 10 subject/FFR model combinations for each phase. For each experimental condition, induced faceseal leakage (IFSL) through an induced leak was measured using a PORTACOUNT® Plus model 8020A Respirator Fit Tester with a model 8095 N95-Companion (TM) accessory. For Phase 1, the mean IFSL of all flush probe measurements (3.6%) was significantly greater than (P < 0.05) the mean IFSL of all deep probe measurements (3.3%). For Phase 2, the mean IFSL of all flush probe measurements (8.5%) was not significantly greater than (P > 0.05) the mean IFSL of all disc probe measurements (8.3%). Results indicate that some leak site and subject/FFR model/leak site combination comparisons (flush probe versus deep probe or flush probe versus disc probe) were statistically different (P < 0.05). The overall mean IFSL for subject/FFR model/leak site combinations differed by 14 and 4% for the flush probe versus deep probe and the flush probe versus disc probe, respectively; however, from a practical standpoint, there is little difference between the flush probe tests compared with the deep probe or disc probe tests. Overall, IFSL measured using the flush probe is higher (resulting in a more conservative measure of faceseal leakage) compared with either the deep probe or disc probe. The more conservative results obtained using the flush probe provide support for its common usage for fit testing cup-shaped FFRs in the USA and potential use for fit testing FFRs in Europe.
Keywords
Respirators; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment; Performance-capability; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Face-masks; Air-purifying-respirators; Testing-equipment; Measurement-equipment; Laboratory-techniques; Laboratory-testing; Humans; Anthropometry; Leak-detectors; Leak-prevention; Author Keywords: filtering facepiece respirator; fit test; flush probe; N95 respirator; probe bias; respirator probe
Contact
Michael S. Bergman, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236, USA
CODEN
AOHYA3
Publication Date
20130504
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
vzb3@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2013
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
B20130124
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
0003-4878
NIOSH Division
NPPTL
Source Name
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
State
PA
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