How the N95 Respirator Fit Testing Works

How the Dust Mask Fit Testing Works

How the Dust Mask Fit Testing Works. In order for you to have the full protection of the Dust Mask. It’s necessary to have it fit tested. This will ensure that the mask will have a perfect fit on your face and that no leaks will be present.  It could affect the masks’ ability to keep you from breathing in potentially harmful contaminants.

When you wear a respirator. It’s essential that you follow the manufacturer’s instruction on how to wear it right. A guide is always packed together with the mask. In order to make sure that you have the right mask to protect you. You would need to undergo fit testing.

If your work involves you being exposed to an extreme amount of dust and airborne contaminants, you definitely should use a respirator. Doing so will help you decrease your risk of inhaling biological hazards and developing respiratory illnesses.

Fit Testing Procedure

Fit testing is a standard safety routine that is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to be performed on workers who are required to wear a respirator mask on the job. Since respirators can only do its job when it’s worn properly, this requirement is definitely a must.

Here’s how fit testing of the Dust Mask works:

Step 1.

Before the fit test proper is done, the wearer is required to consult with a medical professional for evaluation. If there is a YES in the answers to the questions, a person will not be allowed to do fit testing.

Step 2. 

It’s important to note you are not allowed to eat, drink, and chew a gum 15 minutes prior to testing.

Step 3.

After you’ve been briefed with the first two steps, it’s time to move to the sensitivity testing or the taste threshold screening. During a step, you will be asked to wear a testing hood that will create a proper testing environment. With an open mouth and the tongue slightly extended, a saccharine aerosol will be added to the hood and should the wearer taste any sweetness, he/she should report it immediately to the person initiating the test. He/she is then required to remove the mask and rinse his/her mouth with water before continuing with the fit testing.

Step 4. 

During this step, the wearer will be asked to don both the respirator and the testing hood. The saccharine aerosol will be introduced to the hood again every 30 seconds (full amount on the first time and then half the original amount on the proceeding times). During the introduction of the aerosol, no sweetness should be detected. An effective mask should be able to filter out all the aerosol particles. If sweetness is detected proceed to step 5.

Step 5.  

If the wearer tastes sweetness while wearing the Dust Mask, the technician should be notified immediately and the testing hood along with the respirator mask should be removed and the mouth should be, again, rinsed with water. This signifies that the respirator that was used was not the right fit. Another size of respirator will then be used and fit testing will be done again.

When it comes to your safety, it’s better to be sure that you are equipped with the right type of protection. When you’re working, be sure to have a dust mask ready at hand at all times. Most importantly, don’t forget to switch to a new one every now and then.