Respirator fit testing practices in the U.S.
Campbell-D; Doney-B; Groce-D; Greskevitch-M; Syamlal-G; Coffey-C; Bang-KM
J Int Soc Respir Prot 2005 Apr-Sep; 22:11-16
The findings from a national survey of respirator programs were recently published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This current effort analyzes and interprets those published findings related to respirator fit testing in establishments with required respirator use (i.e., use on a non-voluntarily basis). This analysis indicates: (a) many of the establishments using tight-fitting respirators on a non-voluntarily basis seem not to understand fit testing requirements or were not familiar with the fit test terminology in the BLS/NIOSH questionnaire; (b) there is significant confusion between a user seal check and a fit test; (c) fit testing is not done in approximately half of the establishments where tight-fitting respirators are used; (d) qualitative fit tests are utilized far more often than quantitative fit tests; and (e) the irritant smoke test is reported to be the most popular fit test.
Respirators; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Qualitative-analysis; Quantitative-analysis; Personal-protective-equipment; Questionnaires; Surveillance
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, Mail Stop HG900.2, Morgantown, WV 26505
Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection