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Effects of respirators on performance of physical, psychomotor and cognitive tasks.
Zimmerman NJ; Eberts C; Salvendy G; McCabe G
Ergonomics 1991 Mar; 34(3):321-334
A comprehensive study was conducted to investigate test procedures which could be used to determine quantitatively any decrement in work performance due to the use of a respirator. The subjects' responses were monitored while wearing three types of respirators and performing three tasks. The three types of work rates, physical, psychomotor and cognitive, were selected to represent the broadest spectrum of simulated work tasks. The three respirators chosen were selected to represent the more commonly used types in industry including a disposable dust mask, a rubber half mask with High Efficiency Particulate Air cartridges, and a full facepiece airline respirator in pressure demand mode with Grade-D breathing air supplied from compressed air cylinders. Effects on performance were noted in the physical work task, with increased exertion and in the psychomotor tasks with lessened steadiness and slower arm hand movements, but not in the cognitive tasks. In general, the tests did not differentiate well among the effects of different respirator types. These tests indicated that respirators appeared to have no effect on the performance of certain tasks such as cognitive and reaction time skills.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Respirators; Personal-protective-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Worker-health; Respiratory-system-disorders; Ergonomics; Human-factors-engineering; Task-performance; Quantitative-analysis
Medicinal Chem & Pharmacognosy Purdue Univeristy Dept of Medicinal Chemistry West Lafayette, Ind 47907
Issue of Publication
Respirator Research; Respirators
Purdue University West Lafayette, West Lafayette, Indiana
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division