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Two new approaches for developing respirator fit-test panels representative of U.S. workers.

Zhuang-Z; Odencrantz-J; Jensen-P; Coffey-C; Guan-J; Hsiao-H
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2002 Jun; :48
The respirator fit-test panels currently used are 25-subject panels, developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The LANL panels are based on data from the 1967-1968 survey of U.S. Air Force men and women. Military data may not represent the great diversity in face size and shape seen in civilian populations. In addition, the demographics of the U.S. population have changed over the last 30 years. Thus, it is necessary to assess and refine the LANL fit-test panels. This paper presents two new approaches for developing fit-test panels representative of U.S. workers. Data from the 1987-1988 anthropometric survey of U.S. Army men and women were obtained for this study. As a partner in the project titled "Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource (CAESAR)," NIOSH received the manual measurements of 2391 civilian subjects (only two facial dimensions were measured). The CAESAR data were used to determine if the military data were appropriate for civilian workers. The fit-test panels were developed using the LANL approach based on the Army data: a panel with cells based on face length and face width (for full-facepiece respirators), and a panel with cells based on face length and lip length (for half-mask respirators). These two panels were then revised with subject weighting to match the racial composition of the U.S. population as determined from the 2000 census. A panel for half-mask respirators was also developed using the first three principal components obtained from a set of six facial dimensions (race-adjusted) that have been shown to be associated with respirator fit and leakage.
Workers; Demographic-characteristics; Military-personnel; Racial-factors; Weight-factors; Respirators; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment
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Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division