Grimace Exercise When Fit Testing

ORIGIN: Moldex Technical Services Department


According to the updated OSHA respiratory regulation, a “grimace exercise” must be added (by smiling or frowning) when performing a Quantitative Fit Test. The intent of this exercise is to test the respirator’s ability to reseal to the wearer’s face. The exercise is to be performed for 15 seconds with the older Portacount in the “Pause” mode. However, unless the Portacount is used in conjunction with the Fit plus for Windows you cannot put the Portacount in the Pause mode. In most cases when performing a fit test you will not be running the Portacount in this configuration.

To address this, OSHA has offered a method for performing this exercise when the Portacount cannot be placed in a Pause mode during the grimace. A one minute exercise should be added after the Talking exercise and before the Bending Over exercise. The person will perform the grimace exercise for 15 seconds only, and then revert to normal breathing for the rest of this exercise. If the person being tested has a good fit with the respirator, it should not adversely affect the overall fit factor unless the person is very close to the pass/fail criteria of 100 for the other exercises.

With the new Portacount Model 8038 the grimace exercise is included in the protocol of exercises.

As a recap, when performing a Quantitative Fit Test you should perform the exercises in the following order for one minute each:

  • Normal Breathing
  • Deep Breathing
  • Turning Head Side to Side
  • Moving Head Up and Down
  • Talking
  • Grimace 15 sec. normal breathing the remainder of the time
  • Bending Over (or Jogging in place)
  • Normal Breathing

If you have any questions, call our Technical Services line at 800/421-0668 ext. 512/550.


Fit Testing Procedures (Mandatory). 1910.134 App A:

WARNING: The information contained in this Tech Brief is dated and was accurate to the best of Moldex’s knowledge, on the date above. It is not meant to be comprehensive, nor is it intended to be used in place of the warning/use instructions that accompany Moldex respirators. Outside of the USA, check with all applicable and local government regulations.

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