Fit Testing Essentials

As the world continues to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, fit testing respirators for healthcare workers and first responders remains vital to a respiratory protection program to reduce exposure to the disease. According to the CDC, the effectiveness of N95 respirators to control exposure to airborne infectious diseases is highly dependent on proper fit and use. In other words, your respirator protects only as well as it fits. As the COVID-19 virus is an airborne inhalation hazard, respiratory protection from properly fit-tested filtering facepieces, such as NIOSH-certified N95s, can help prevent the spread of the illness.

WHAT IS A RESPIRATOR FIT TEST?

A respirator fit test checks whether a respirator properly fits the face of someone who wears it. The fitting characteristic is the respirator’s ability to separate a worker’s respiratory system from ambient air.

The video below demonstrates a quantitative fit test with the PortaCount® Respirator Fit Tester.

https://youtu.be/f3R8AzSX8j4
 

WHY IS FIT TESTING SO IMPORTANT?

If a respirator doesn’t fit a user’s face correctly, contaminated air can leak into the respirator facepiece, putting them at risk for breathing in airborne infectious diseases.

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