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Effect of thermal conditions on the acceptability of respiratory protective devices by humans at rest.
Gwosdow AR; Nielsen R; Berglund LG; Tremml AB
John B. Pierce Foundation Laboratory, Inc., New Haven, Connecticut 1988 Jul; :1-37
Six subjects participated in a study to measure physiological and subjective responses to the wearing of half facepiece respirators under various room and respirator air conditions. Room air temperatures varied from 25 to 30 to 35 degrees-C, while the corresponding dew point temperatures varied from 11 to 13 to 16, respectively. The temperatures of the respirator air were maintained at 27, 30, 33, and 36 degrees-C with 44 and 73 percent relative humidity. Temperatures cooler than 33 degrees for the respirator air were always comfortable and completely accepted by the subjects. At these conditions the subjects were experiencing a neutral thermal sensation, minimal sweating, little sense of skin wetness and normal breathing. Raising either the temperature or the humidity levels caused some symptoms of nonacceptability. When lip temperature increased above 34.5 percent or when the dew point temperature increased above 20 degrees-C, the acceptability of the respirator environment decreased. Breathing seemed slightly more difficult when the respirator air temperature and humidity were increased. The conditions of the respirator did influence the subjective judgments of the subjects regarding the acceptability of the surrounding environment. For example, when the room temperature was 25 degrees-C, an increase in temperature and humidity in the respirator conditions caused the body to sense the environment no longer as neutral but warm.
NIOSH-Grant; Respirators; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Thermoregulation; Sensory-perceptual-processes; Workplace-studies
None John B Pierce Foundation, Inc 290 Congress Avenue New Haven, Conn 06519
Final Grant Report
NTIS Accession No.
John B. Pierce Foundation Laboratory, Inc., New Haven, Connecticut
John B. Pierce Foundation Lab, Inc., New Haven, Connecticut
Page last reviewed: February 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division