Respirator Fit Testing:
Prepare today for tomorrow’s exposure

The following video presentation is intended for informational purposes and does not represent itself as a piece of definitive instructional material. The target audience includes health care professionals, first responders and others preparing to take a quantitative respiratory fit test.

The individuals appearing in the live action fit testing sequences were participants in a real time event, and may or may not have successfully completed the exercise. The donning of masks as depicted in these sequences may not always be consistent with published recommendations, which require straps to be near the top of the head and near the level of the ear for best fit. In all circumstances, the manufacturers' and government regulatory agency recommendations regarding the placement of masks should always be read before donning the respective devices(s).

Questions regarding surgical masks vs. close fitting masks reflect the best available information at the time of this production, and the viewer is advised to keep abreast of current literature for the most useful recommendations.

The comments and illustrations contained in this video are in no way an endorsement of the TSI PortaCount device or of the manufacturers of any masks or other devices used in this production.


Selected References for further reading:

  1. Coffey C, Lawrence RB, Zhuang Z, Campbell D, Jensen PA, Myers WA. Comparison of five methods for fit-testing N95 filtering-facepiece respirators. Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. 17(10); 723–730: 2002.

  2. Lawrence RB, Duling MG, Calvert CA, Coffey CC. Comparison of performance of three different types of respiratory protection devices. J Occup Environ Hyg. 3(9); 465-74: 2006.

  3. Belazy A, Toivola M, Adhikari A, Sivasubramani SK, Reponen T, etal. Do N95 respirators provide 95% protection level against airborne viruses, and how adequate are surgical masks? Am J Infect Control ; 34:51-7: 2006.

  4. OSHA. (1999) Respiratory protection standard. OSHA 1910.134. Code of Federal Regulation. Washington, DC: Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

  5. Yang L, Shen H, Wu G. Racial Differences in Respirator Fit Testing: A Pilot study of whether American fit panels are representative of Chinese faces. Ann. Occup. Hyg. 51 ; 415–421: 2007.

  6. Grow RW, Rubinson L. The Challenge of hospital infection control during a response to bioterrorist attacks. Biosecurity and Bioterrism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. 1; 215-20: 2003.
  7. Caputo KM, Byrick R, Chapman MG, Orser BJ, Orser BA. Intubation of SARS patients: infection and perspectives of healthcare workers. Can J Anaesth. 53(2); 122-9: 2006.

Selected Internet Sources for additional information:

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) web site on Respiratory Protection.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) web site on Personal Protection.

NIOSH Safety and Health Topics: Infectious Aerosols including Avian Influenza.


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