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The effect of subject characteristics and respirator features on respirator fit.
Zhuang-Z; Berry Ann-R; Viscusi-D
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2003 May; :53
A recent study was conducted to evaluate the accuracies of five fit-test methods for screening out poor-fitting N95 filtering-facepiece respirators. The fit of 18 models of NIOSH-certified, N95 filtering-facepiece respirators was assessed by using a simulated workplace protection factor (SWPF) test. The purpose of this companion study was to investigate the effect of subject characteristics and respirator features on respirator fit. The respirator features are design style (folding and cup style) and number of sizes available (one size fits all, two sizes, and three sizes). Thirty-three subjects (18 females and 15 males) participated in this study. They were measured for 12 facial dimensions with traditional calipers and tape. From this group, a panel of 25 subjects with face sizes I to 10 (based on the Los Alamos half-facepiece respirator fit-test panel) tested each respirator. The SWPF test protocol entailed using the Portacount PlusTM to determine a SWPF based on total penetration (faceseal leakage plus filter penetration) while the subject performed six simulated workplace movements. Six tests were conducted for each subject/respirator model combination with redonning between tests. Number of sizes available appeared to have some impact on respirator fit on the panel. There was no significant difference in the geometric mean (GM) fit factor between male and female subjects for 16 of the 18 respirator models. Subsets of one to six facial dimensions were found to be significantly correlated with fit factors in 28 of the 33 respirator model/respirator size combinations. Face width, bigonial breadth, nose protrusion, and face length were found in 11,8,8, and 5 of the 28 subsets, respectively. Lip length was found in only two subsets. Face length and lip length, which are used to define the current half-facepiece respirator fit-test panel, may need to be reconsidered when revising the panel.
Respirators; Face-masks; Filters; Testing-equipment; Anthropometry; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment; Work-analysis; Workplace-studies; Workplace-monitoring; Sex-factors
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division