System for measuring workplace protection factors.
NIOSH 2004 Feb; 1-28
The overall goal of this project was to develop and test a personal sampling system for measuring workplace protection factors (WPF) for gases and vapors. The system consists of a low-flow sampling pump with stroke counter, a solenoid valve for directing the sampling flow stream, a pressure transducer designed to sense differential pressure inside the respirator, and a multi-channel data-logging unit for recording the output from the pressure transducer as well as a transducer for measuring heart rate. The pressure transducer and solenoid valve are designed to allow sampling of the air inside the respirator face-piece during the inhalation portion of respiration, while the ambient environment is sampled during the exhalation phase. The system is relatively small and light-weight, allowing the unit to be worn easily on a worker's belt, and has adequate battery power to operate for at least a full 8-hour shift. The resulting personal sampling system should be a valuable tool for researchers interested in measuring WPFs for gases and vapors for the purpose of developing or evaluating Assigned Protection Factors (APF), or in exposure assessment for specific applications of respiratory protective equipment. The research conducted as part of this project has lead to the development of a valuable instrument for use in gathering WPF data for gases and vapors. The sampling system developed is small and light-weight, allowing the unit to be worn easily on a worker's belt, and has adequate battery power to operate for a full 8-hour shift. This technology should help to address research needs identified in the Final Rule of the Respiratory Protection Standard. Data gathered using the instrument could be used in developing and evaluating APFs for different types of respirators, or as an exposure tool for specific applications of respiratory protective equipment. It is intended that this research will serve as a strating point for a series of related projects following a logical progression that expands on the original work. The current proposal has lead to the development of a thoroughly characterized tool that is designed for evaluating respirators used in the workplace for protection from gases and vapors.
Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Vapors; Gases; Sampling-methods; Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment; Heart-rate; Inhalation-studies
William A. Groves, Ph.D, CIH, CSP, 223 Hosler Building, Industrial Health and Safety Program, Department of Energy and Geo-Environmental Engineering, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802-5000
Final Grant Report
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania