RESPIRATOR FIT TESTING 

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A respirator can't protect an employee if it doesn't fit their face properly. Respirators with a tight-fitting face piece must form a tight seal with the face or neck to work properly. If a respirator doesn't fit  properly, contaminated air can leak into the  face piece, and an employee could breathe in hazardous substances. Before employees are permitted to wear a tight-fitting respirator at work, employers must be sure that the respirator fits. A fit test is conducted by performing a series of activities while wearing the same make, model, and size of respirator that will be using on the job.


We provide Respiratory Protection Fit Testing at our facility or yours. Following the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.134, Appendix A. To schedule a fit test please contact Jeremy at 720-203-6325 or email him at jeremyjordan@mjssafety.net 




Qualitative and Quantitative - what's the difference? 
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 face piece. 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 face piece. There are four qualitative fit test methods accepted by OSHA:
     Isoamyl acetate, which smells like bananas;
     Saccharin, which leaves a sweet taste in your mouth;
     Bitrex, which leaves a bitter taste in your mouth; and
     Irritant smoke, which can cause coughing.

Qualitative fit testing is normally used for half-mask respirators - those that just cover your mouth and nose. Half-mask respirators can be filtering face piece respirators - often called "N95's" - as well as elastomeric respirators.

Quantitative fit testing uses a machine to measure the actual amount of leakage into the face piece 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 face piece that will be connected to the machine by a hose. There are three quantitative fit test methods accepted by OSHA:
     Generated aerosol;
     Ambient aerosol; and
    Controlled Negative Pressure.

Quantitative fit testing can be used for any type of tight-fitting respirator.