Effect of good- and poor-fitting half-mask respirators on protection under actual workplace environments at a steel foundry.
Zhuang-Z; Coffey-CC; Jensen-PA; Campbell-DL; Lawrence-RB; Myers-WR; Colton-CE
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2001 Jun; :35
No correlation between workplace protection factors and quantitative fit factors (FFs) has been previously found. In a recent laboratory study, simulated workplace protection factors, based on total Freon exposure dose, were found to be correlated to fit factors using the PortaCount Plus (r-squre = 0.71) when poor-fitting respirators (FFs < 100) were included. The purpose of this new study was to investigate the effect of good- and poor-fitting half-mask, air-purifying respirators on protection under actual workplace environments at a steel foundry. Fifteen burners and welders, who wore respirators voluntarily, and chippers participated in this study. Each subject was fit tested with two respirator models each with three sizes. Models and sizes were assigned to have a wide range of FFs. Each worker donned the respirator twice a day (once at the beginning of the shift and once right after their lunch break) for two days. Quantitative FFs were first obtained for each donning using the PortaCount Plus in a clean room. Without redonning the respirators, workers performed normal work for one to two hours and protection factors were measured by collecting ambient and in-facepiece samples simultaneously. A second fit-test was conducted without redonning the respirator. The FFs from the first tests had a geometric mean (GM) of 340 (range=1O-19,000) and a geometric standard deviation (GSD) of 7. The second test FFs had a GM of 310 (range =9-23,000) and a GSD of 8. The GM of FFs for each subject ranged from 14 to 1500 (GSD range=1.4-1O). Of the 58 first test donnings, 44 were good-fitting (FFs >= 100) and 14 were poor-fitting. Based on the second fit-test results, 37 of the 44 donnings with good-fitting respirators had FFs >= 100 and IO of the 14 donnings with poor-fitting respirators had FFs<1 00.
Respirators; Respiration; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Workers; Laboratory-testing; Laboratories; Face-masks; Exposure-levels; Air-purifying-respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-function-tests; Work-environment; Statistical-analysis
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana