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Field performance measurements of half-facepiece respirators correlation between workplace protection factors and fit factors.

Zhuang-Z; Coffey-C; Myers-W
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1998 May; :60
Current standards, regulations, and recommendations regarding the selection and use of respirators require that individual users be fit-tested as part of the selection process. However, no correlation between workplace protection factors (WPFs) and quantitative fit factors (FFs) has been previously reported. A series of field studies was conducted to collect ambient and in-facepiece samples on workers in foundry, aircraft-painting, and steel manufacturing operations to evaluate the protection provided by negative-pressure, half-facepiece respirators. Protection was assessed by WPFs (i.e., the ralio of ambient concentration Co, to in-facepiece concentration, Ci and reported previously. As a part of these studies, quantitative fit-tests were performed on workers wearing elastomeric respirators. A worker could wear a respirator only if he or she met the fit-test pass/fail criteria (FF=100) with that particular respirator. A systematic correlation analysis of Co, Ci, WPF, and FF data was conducted to identify any correlations and evidence supporting the standards and regulations. The log-transformed WPF data and Ci data were strongly correlated in all three operations (P-values are <0.01 and R2 values = 0.42, 0.54, and 0.55). The log transformed WPF data and Co data were significantly correlated in two operations (R2 = 0.11 and 0.28). The log transformed Cj data and Co data were significantly correlated in two operations (R2 = 0.24 and 0.26). No significant correlation was found between WPF and FF when all data were analyzed and fit factors (overall fit factor and fit factors for each exercise) were the only independent variables. However, significant correlations between WPF and FF were found in some facility-respirator combinations (R2 ranged from 0.18 to 0.82). Both positive and negative correlation coefficients were found. It is concluded that WPFs were correlated with FFs when fit factors, facility, and respirator were independent variables.
Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Face-masks; Air-purifying-respirators; Anthropometry; Personal-protective-equipment; Performance-capability; Health-protection; Testing-equipment; Humans; Quantitative-analysis; Quality-standards; Regulations; Standards
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division