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Simplified pressure method for respirator fit testing.
Han-D; Xu-M; Foo-S; Pilacinski-W; Willeke-K
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1991 Aug; 52(8):305-308
A proposed simplified pressure method for respiratory fit testing was described. The cartridge of the respirator being tested was replaced with a pressure test attachment consisting of a pressure sensor and air inlet valve. The subject was told to breathe normally. The pump was turned on, during which the subject held his breath for a few seconds while the air inlet valve was closed. The steady state pressure difference (DP) was recorded, after which the air inlet valve was reopened and the subject was instructed to breathe normally again. The flow ratio was calculated from the DP data. The dependence of the flow ratio on the DP reflected the leak flow, which was indicative of the degree of face seal fit. The method was evaluated using three volunteers wearing three sizes of two brands of respirators. The data were compared with fit factors determined by photometric and particle count tests. The flow ratios determined by the method were smaller than the fit factors determined by the photometric and particle count tests. The difference between the flow ratios and the fit factors was larger for the better fitted respirators. The authors conclude that the proposed method takes only a few seconds and can be used on the respirator that is actually worn by the worker. Further studies using more subjects and an optimized test system setup are needed in order to completely evaluate the method.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Respirators; Industrial-hygiene; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Health-protection; Air-flow; Pressure-testing
Environmental Health University of Cincinnati Dept of Environmental Health Cincinnati, Ohio 45267
Issue of Publication
Respirator Research; Respirators
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division