A Guide on Respirator Fit Testing

Respirator fit testing involves searching for numerical or quantitative measurements that indicate the amount of seal leakage occurring in your face when you wear a respirator. Respirators became standard requirements for many people during the coronavirus pandemic, and they are a sure way of ensuring protection. Still, respirators need testing to ensure that the user does not inhale contaminants such as infectious agents, vapors, dust, and fumes.  

The test way to conduct fitness tests is to have them before people wear them at the workplace or in other environments. However, you must repeat the test at least annually. If the respirator design or facial changes occur, they may impact the proper respirators' proper fit, so a new test is necessary. This piece discusses three types of quantitative fit testing that experts perform. 

Generated Aerosol

This method uses corn oil or other aerosols. Dispensing the aerosol in high concentration into the test chamber gives the photometer something to measure based on the aerosol detector. This detector shows the agent leaking into the facepiece. Most applications rarely use this testing method. The testing agent shies away from tedious roles such as maintaining and cleaning the booth in a large unit. 

Ambient Aerosol

Ambient aerosols refer to the suspended liquid droplets and solid particles in the air. These aerosols come from natural sources such as forest fires, volcanic eruptions, sea salt, or desert dust. Anthrophonic sources such as burning biomass or fossil fuels might also generate atmospheric aerosols. 

Therefore, this test method involves using lasers to measure concentrations inside and outside the mask. One distinct advantage of this tactic is that you do not need any test chamber. 

Controlled Negative Pressure

This tactic involves creating a fixed vacuum on the facepiece. Adapters measure the air leak and flow rate. The test includes fitting the facepiece correctly to the wearer's face and generating a constant negative pressure. Users inhale sharply and block the paths for air to penetrate the facepiece. If the check is successful, the facepiece collapses slightly under the negative pressure resulting from this procedure. 

There are three standard tests that you can use to test whether a respirator is fit on the user's face before using it at the workplace. These methods include the generated aerosol, ambient aerosol, and controlled negative pressure tests. If you confirm a tight seal in the respirator, you can be confident that workers get the expected level of protection against different hazards. 

For more information, contact a company like FitTick.