Respirators protect the wearer from inhaling chemicals and toxic materials. Without them, these hazards could have a devastating impact on the pulmonary and general health of workers. Simply wearing a mask, however, is not enough to ensure adequate protection. The mask needs to fit tightly but comfortably on the wearer’s face. To protect the wearer, the respirator needs to form a seal around the face to prevent the penetration of hazardous substances.
Users can sometimes feel that the respirator has been loosened and that the seal is broken, but judging the fit by feel alone is unreliable. For best results quantitative fit tests should be performed at least once a year to ensure that the respirator continues to provide optimal protection.
A fit test should also be performed any time an employee undergoes a change that could affect how well the respirator fits on them. Gaining or losing a significant amount of weight, for instance, could affect the respirator’s ability to create a protective seal. Growing facial hair could also compromise the respirator’s fit, and major dental work could affect the facial structure enough to make a difference as well.
QUALITATIVE FIT TESTING
Qualitative fit testing is a pass/fail test method that uses your sense of taste or smell, or your reaction to an irritant in order to detect leakage into the respirator facepiece. Qualitative fit testing does not measure the actual amount of leakage. Whether the respirator passes or fails the test is based simply on you detecting leakage of the test substance into your facepiece.
QUANTITATIVE FIT TESTING
Quantitative fit testing uses a machine, such as the TSI PortaCount, to measure the actual amount of leakage into the facepiece and does not rely upon your sense of taste, smell, or irritation in order to detect leakage. The respirators used during this type of fit testing will have a probe attached to the facepiece that will be connected to the machine by a hose.
Simplify your fit test program with one consistent and objective fit testing experience across any respirator you use. SCBA masks, Air Purifying Respirators (APRs), and N95s for medical calls can all be fit tested with the PortaCount platform.
Achieve a better respirator fit for more staff in less time. The PortaCount Fit Tester boosts your productivity by making the entire respirator training and fit testing process more efficient.
Fast effective fit testing
Run multiple fit testing’s in one session
Fit checks all respiratory masks