Quantitative Fit Testing
A quantitative fit test uses a machine to provide a numeric assessment of how well a respirator fits a particular individual by measuring the actual amount of leakage into the respirator.
Respirator fit tests are either quantitative or qualitative. A quantitative fit test uses a machine to provide a numeric assessment of how well a respirator fits a particular individual by measuring the actual amount of leakage into the respirator. Wheras a qualitative fit test is a non-numeric pass or fail test that relies on a respirator wearer’s response to whether or not he or she detects the presence of a test substance (e.g., Bitrex) when wearing a particular respirator.
Using a portacount computerized testing machine, this Fit Testing determines the adequacy of the face-to-face piece fit or seal of a given type, make, model, and size of a tight fitting face piece respirator by measuring the particulate contaminate concentration outside the face piece (ambient air), to the concentration inside the face piece. Full facepiece respirators need to be quantitatively fit tested when used in environments where the contaminant concentration exceeds ten times the permissible exposure limit, or the “Assigned Protection Factor” (APF) calls for a fit factor greater than 100.
The employee is asked to complete seven distinct drills while wearing the respirator as the portacount machine counts the particulate matter. OMD sticks to OSHA guidelines and will have the employee complete each manuever for a minute each with a total of seven drills.
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