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Large particle penetration through N95 respirator filters and facepiece leaks with cyclic flow.
Cho-KJ; Reponen-T; McKay-R; Shukla-R; Haruta-H; Sekar-P; Grinshpun-SA
Ann Occup Hyg 2010 Jan; 54(1):68-77
The aim of this study was to investigate respirator filter and faceseal penetration of particles representing bacterial and fungal spore size ranges (0.7-4 mum). First, field experiments were conducted to determine workplace protection factors (WPFs) for a typical N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR). These data (average WPF = 515) were then used to position the FFR on a manikin to simulate realistic donning conditions for laboratory experiments. Filter penetration was also measured after the FFR was fully sealed on the manikin face. This value was deducted from the total penetration (obtained from tests with the partially sealed FFR) to determine the faceseal penetration. All manikin experiments were repeated using three sinusoidal breathing flow patterns corresponding to mean inspiratory flow rates of 15, 30, and 85 l min(-1). The faceseal penetration varied from 0.1 to 1.1% and decreased with increasing particle size (P < 0.001) and breathing rate (P < 0.001). The fractions of aerosols penetrating through the faceseal leakage varied from 0.66 to 0.94. In conclusion, even for a well-fitting FFR respirator, most particle penetration occurs through faceseal leakage, which varies with breathing flow rate and particle size.
Respirators; Respiratory-function-tests; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Filters; Particulates; Personal-protective-equipment; Airborne-dusts; Airborne-particles; Author Keywords: cyclic flow; faceseal; filter; penetration; protection factor; respirator
Issue of Publication
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
University of Cincinnati
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division