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Anthropometric survey of respirator users.

Zhuang Z; Bradtmiller B; Odencrantz J; Coffey C; Campbell D; Hsiao H
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2004 May; :7
Sizing data generated by the military for use in fitting respirators has been the normative basis for commercial respirator sizing. Anthropometric data developed for males of military age in the 1950s and 1960s is still in use today and forms the only comprehensive body of information available on this subject. The two-fold objective of this study was to: (1) develop an anthropometric database detailing the face-size distributions of respirator users using both traditional measurement methods and three-dimensional (3D) scanning systems; and (2) use the database to establish fit-test panels to be incorporated into the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's respirator certification and international standards. The subjects were recruited from various industries nationwide, including manufacturing, construction, health care, law enforcement, and firefighting. These workers rely on respirators to prevent work-related respiratory illnesses and injuries. A stratified sampling plan was used with equal sample size of 166 in each cell. The strata consisted of three age strata (18-29, 30-44, 45-65 years), two gender strata (male and female), and four race/ethnic group strata (White, African American, Hispanic, and Others). Height and weight plus 18 facial dimensions and neck circumferences were measured with traditional methods. A total of 3997 subjects (2542 male and 1455 female) were measured using traditional methods, and 1013 of them (713 male and 300 female) were also scanned using a 3D head scanner. This paper presents the summary statistics for the traditional measurement data as well as dimensions extracted from the 3D scan data. Preliminary analyses of the data revealed that about 17% of the survey subjects were outside the boundary of the current fit-test panel for full-facepiece respirators developed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1974 based on data from the 1967-68 U.S. Air Force anthropometry survey.
Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Anthropometry; Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Racial-factors; Sex-factors; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Construction-workers; Fire-fighters; Health-care-personnel; Law-enforcement-workers; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders
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NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division