How do I fit test a respirator mask?

How do I fit test my respirator?

Fit testing a respirator revolves around several principles. The first, and probably most important is to discover if the subject in question can detect the testing material. The fit test process will obviously never function properly, if the individual cannot detect the testing material. Following confirmation that the subject can detect the test material, the testing process then involves donning the appropriate mask,and testing for detection of the material in various phases of activity. Below is an abbreviated outline of this process.

  1. Choose a Fit Test Kit if you do not already have one.
  2. Test subject Don's the Fit Test Hood without a respirator
  3. With the subject breathing normally, inject the fit test solution into the hood. The test subject should smell/taste the solution. This determines if the subject is able to detect the test material.
  4. Let the subject rest until the taste/smell is gone
  5. Have the subject don the respirator and the test hood.
  6. Repeat the process of injecting the solution.
  7. Perform various excercises during the fit test.
    1. Normal Breathing.
    2. Deep Breathing.
    3. Breathing while turning head.
    4. Breathing while moving head up and down.
    5. Talking out loud and slowly.
    6. While bending over
  8. Record the results for the subject & store for future reference & comparison.

The above list is an abbreviated procedure for fit testing. For full and detailed instructions consult your fit test kit's manual for proper procedures during a fit test.

Important Considerations for a fit test

  • Can the subject taste/smell the testing solution?
  • Does the mask fit during various common activities such as talking, moving or breathing heavily.
  • Passing a fit test, does not mean that the filter chosen is right for the job. A site survey or MSDS sheets must be consulted to determine the right filters.

Fit Testing Kits by 3M

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