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Respirator fit and protection through determination of air and particle leakage.
Xu M; Han D; Hangal S; Willeke K
Ann Occup Hyg 1991 Feb; 35(1):13-24
An investigation was conducted to provide a test which, instead of using a surrogate mask, would measure the protection in the workplace for the respirator actually worn. The investigation was performed due to the observation that the correlation between the field measurements of the Workplace Protection Factor and the laboratory tested Fit Factor for respirator effectiveness was poor. The laboratory technique as described used a dynamic pressure test to quantify the air flow through the leak. Calibration data related the contaminant influx to this air flow, and a similar pressure test determined the flow through the respirator cartridges and, therefore, the dilution characteristics. Contaminant removal characteristics of the cartridges were stored in the computer. The contaminant penetration was calculated from these data and from the removal efficiency. Through specification of the aerosol size distribution and the method of measurement, protection factors were calculated for specific work environments, work loads and respirator cartridges. The protection factor was highly dependent on the method of measuring the contaminant and on the cartridges used. In this investigation the linkage between face seal test and protection factor was demonstrated for aerosols, but was noted as equally valid for any air contaminant.
NIOSH-Author; Work-environment; Air-quality-monitoring; Respirators; Respiratory-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Safety-equipment; Aerosols; Airborne-dusts
Issue of Publication
Respirator Research; Respirators
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division