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Thermal discomfort of respiratory protective devices.
DuBois AB; Harb ZF; Fox SH
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1990 Oct; 51(10):550-554
Facial discomfort was measured as a function of temperature of the skin of the face when using face masks that depended on tidal breathing rather than continuous airflow. The new results were compared to earlier results to determine whether facial discomfort is dependent on the type of airflow in the mask or instead on increase of skin temperature resulting from heat and humidity in the air around the face. The study subjects, six men and six women, were healthy volunteers but not experienced laborers. They reported on facial discomfort, thermal sensation and sweating while wearing three different types of half facepiece respirators requiring tidal airflow. When the temperature was at 34 degrees-C or below, the subjects reported that the face felt comfortable. When the temperature rose above 34.5 degrees-C, the face felt increasingly warm, uncomfortable and sweaty. This was consistent with earlier reports from workers wearing half facepiece respirators supplied continuously with warm, humid air. The authors conclude that thermal conditions of the face contributed to and may possibly dominate the discomfort of wearing respiratory protective devices.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Temperature-effects; Skin-exposure; Face-masks; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Hot-environments; Personal-protective-equipment
None John B Pierce Foundation, Inc 290 Congress Avenue New Haven, Conn 06519
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
John B. Pierce Foundation Lab, Inc., New Haven, Connecticut
Page last reviewed: September 4, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division