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Screening Prospective Workers For The Ability To Use Respirators.

Hodous TK
NIOSH 1984 Jul:24 pages
Screening prospective workers for their ability to use respirators is discussed. Medical effects of wearing respirators are considered. The added inspiratory and expiratory resistance and dead space of most respirators generally causes an increased tidal volume, and decreased respiratory rate and ventilation. Cardiac effects of respirator wear are discussed. While the added work of breathing from respirators is small, a heavy respirator can cause considerable cardiac stress due to the added weight. Light weight respirators involving work or exercise at submaximal efforts exert only minor cardiopulmonary effects, compared with the stress of mild to moderate exercise alone. This seems to be true for both normal individuals and those with impaired lung function. Temperature effects of respirators are considered. Closed circuit breathing units have the potential for causing heat stress since warm expired gases are rebreathed. Fitness guidelines are discussed. It is noted that each case must be considered individually to determine fitness to wear respirators. A medical history and a limited physical examination as a minimum are recommended. The author concludes that individuals with a slight degree of lung disease can tolerate cardiopulmonary stresses produced by respirator use.
NIOSH-Author; Cardiology; Cardiopulmonary-function; Pulmonary-disorders; Temperature-control; Respiration; Respirators; Irritants; Psychological-processes; Temperature-effects;
Publication Date
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Priority Area
Respirator Research; Respirators;
Source Name
Clinical Investigations Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Morgantown, West Virginia, 24 pages, 45 references
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division