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Integrated unit performance testing of powered, air-purifying particulate respirators using a DOP challenge aerosol.
Martin-S; Moyer-E; Jensen-P
J Occup Environ Hyg 2006 Nov; 3(11):631-641
Although workplace protection factor (WPF) and simulated workplace protection factor (SWPF) studies provide useful information regarding the performance capabilities of powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) under certain workplace or simulated workplace conditions, some fail to address the issue of total PAPR unit performance over extended time. PAPR unit performance over time is of paramount importance in protecting worker health over the course of a work shift or at least for the recommended service lifetime of the PAPR battery pack, whichever is shorter. The need for PAPR unit performance testing has become even more important with the inception of 42 CFR 84 and the recent introduction of electrostatic respirator filter media into the PAPR market. This study was conducted to learn how current PAPRs certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health would perform under an 8-hour unit performance test similar to the dioctyl phthalate (DOP) loading test described in 42 CFR 84 for R- and P-series filters for nonpowered, air-purifying particulate respirators. In this study, entire PAPR units, four with mechanical filters and one with an electrostatic filter, 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. The two loose-fitting helmet PAPRs indicate that unit performance testing without the breathing machine is a more stringent test than testing with the breathing machine under the conditions used. The PAPR with a loose-fitting hood gave inconclusive results as to which testing condition is more stringent. The PAPR unit equipped with electrostatic filters gave the highest maximum penetration values during unit performance testing.
Air-purifiers; Air-purifying-respirators; Air-purification; Respirators; Respiration; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Aerosols; Aerosol-particles; Workers; Worker-health; Electrostatic-filters
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division