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Aerosol penetration through filtering facepieces and respirator cartridges.
Chen CC; Lehtimaki M; Willeke K
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1992 Sep; 53(9):566-574
The performances of particulate filtering facepieces and respirator cartridges of the dust mist, dust mist fume, and high efficiency particulate air type were assessed in terms of aerosol penetration and filter quality. Fifteen respirator products representing various categories and manufacturers were sealed to a mannequin. The aerosol concentrations inside and outside the respirator were measured by an aerodynamic particle sizer and a laser aerosol spectrometer over a particle size range of 0.1 to 15 micrometers. Sampling flow rates ranged from 5 to 100 liters per minute. The filter quality factor was used to relate aerosol penetration to the pressure drop across the filter. Respirators of the same type and under the same test conditions were found to have quality factors which varied by as much as 6.6 fold. The aerosol size dependency of the quality factor increased as airflow and aerosol size increased. While cartridges generally had a larger surface area than filtering facepieces, they did not necessarily have lower filter penetration or higher filter quality. The best dust mist respirator provided up to five times the protection of the worst respirator when exposed to specified test aerosol size distributions. The authors conclude that respirators should be tested at more than one particle size to effectively evaluate filtration performance.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Respirators; Industrial-hygiene; Air-purifying-respirators; Air-filters; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment; Face-masks; Filter-materials; Equipment-design; Aerosol-particles
Environmental Health University of Cincinnati Dept of Environmental Health Cincinnati, Ohio 45267
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division