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Powered air-purifying particulate respirator integrity testing with a DOP challenge aerosol.

Martin S; Moyer E; Jensen P
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2002 Jun; :97
Several workplace protection factor and simulated workplace protection factor studies have been conducted on Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs). While these serve to provide useful information regarding the performance capabilities of PAPRs under certain workplace or simulated workplace conditions, most fail to address the issue of total PAPR integrity over time. PAPR integrity over time is of importance in protecting worker health over the course of a work shift or for the recommended service lifetime of the filter(s)/OV cartridge(s) or PAPR battery pack, whichever is less. The need for PAPR integrity testing has become even more important since the inception of 42 CFR 84 and the influx of electrostatic filters into the PAPR market. On July 10, 1995,42 CFR Part 84 replaced 30 CFR Part 11 as the active certification regulation for all non-powered air-purifying particulate filter respirators. However, the certification requirements for PAPRs were transferred to Part 84 without major changes or modifications. In light of recent findings regarding electrostatic PAPR filter efficiency degradation, this study was conducted to learn how current NIOSH-certified PAPRs would perform under an 8-hour integrity test, similar to the DOP loading test described in 42 CFR 84. In this study, PAPR units, four with mechanical filters and one with electrostatic filters, were tested using a TSI Model 8122 Automated Respirator Tester, with and without the built-in breathing machine. The two tight-fitting PAPRs, both with mechanical filters showed little effect on performance resulting from the breathing machine. Two of the loose-fitting PAPRs (one with electrostatic filters) indicate that integrity testing without the breathing machine is a more stringent test. The last loose-fitting PAPR gave results that were inconclusive. The PAPR with the electrostatic filters gave higher maximum penetration values during integrity testing, which is probably attributable to filter efficiency degradation.
Air-purification; Air-purifiers; Particulates; Aerosols; Workplace-studies; Workers; Filters; Respirators; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment
Publication Date
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Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division