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A novel face seal design for filtering facepiece respirators: development and pilot testing in a hospital operating room.
Koehler RH; He X; Grinshpun SA
J Int Soc Respir Prot 2014 May; 31(2):116-128
In this study, we developed a novel face seal (FS) concept for a filtering facepiece respirator (FFR). It is based on the facial anatomic analysis relevant to the respirator contact areas that allow for face seal inward leakage. Prototype respirators were fabricated utilizing the new concept. Two commercially available N100 FFRs were modified by affixing 1/4 and 3/8 inch thick ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam material to the inside periphery of the respirator's shell. Heating of the material was considered as an optional feature. The new respirator was evaluated in a pilot study through a quantitative fit testing, followed by a Simulated Workplace Protection Factor (SWPF) measurement performed in an operating room, where electrocautery smoke was generated by using standard surgical instruments. Both evaluations revealed a significant enhancement, which essentially eliminated the particle penetration through the respirator face seal leakage. The fit factor (FF) increased as much as over two orders of magnitude compared to the conventional N100 FFRs; the SWPF data showed a similar improvement. The effect was primarily attributed to the FS geometry; the heating performed before donning was found to provide a minor additional enhancement, which was not statistically significant. The results of this pilot study suggest that the new design offers considerable advancement in protecting wearers against aerosol hazards, particularly against surgical smoke in operating rooms.
Face shields; Respirators; Respiratory equipment; Filters; Personal protection; Personal protective equipment; Face masks; Fit testing; Ethylenes; Vinyl acetate; Hospital equipment; Surgical masks; Surgery; Surgeons; Aerosols; Aerosol particles; Hazards; Author Keywords: facepiece respirator; face seal; fit; Simulated Workplace Protection Factor; surgical smoke
Issue of Publication
Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection
MA; WV; OH
West Virginia University
Page last reviewed: September 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division