OSHA Quantitative Fit Testing

SUBJECT: OSHA Updates Modified Protocols for Quantitative Fit Testing Using the TSI Portacount
ORGIN: Moldex Technical Services Department
DATE: October 2019
REVIEWED/UPDATED: October 2019

Overview

OSHA approved three new fit test protocols using the Portacount.  They shortened the time and number of exercises required to perform a fit test.  Currently, quantitative fit testing for disposable and resuable half-mask elastomeric respirators, as well as full-facepiece respirators require eight exercises taking a total of about seven minutes per test.  The new protocol allows for four exercises and reduces fit testing down to about two and one-half minutes per test.  This new protocol is simply an option that an employer can use.  The old protocols are still acceptable. The end user must make the decision as to what protocol to use.  Moldex believes either protocol is acceptable.  Certainly the new protocol reduces the time that takes an employee away from their regular duties. The pass/fail criteria for the old and new protocols remain the same.  They are 100 for a disposable and reusable half-facepiece respirators and 500 for a full facepiece respirator.

What the new OSHA approved fit test protocol DOES AND DOES NOT DO

It Does:

Reduce the number of exercises required for a fit test, reduces the time that each exercise takes from one minute to 30 seconds and reduces the overall time of a fit test from about 7 minutes to 2 and 1/2 minutes.

It Does Not:

Change the pass/fail criteria of 100 and 500 for half-mask/disposable and full-facepiece respirators respectively.

The end user must make the decision as to what protocol to use.

A full text for the new protocol can be found at:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/09/26/2019-20686/additional-ambient-aerosol-cnc-quantitative-fit-testing-protocols-respiratory-protection-standard

https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/trade/09252019

Below are the exercises and times to be used for fit testing Full-Facepiece and Half-Mask Elastomeric Respirators:

Table A-1— Modified Ambient Aerosol CNC Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol for Full Facepiece and Half-Mask Elastomeric Respirators
Exercises 1 Exercise procedure Measurement procedure
Bending Over The test subject shall bend at the waist, as if going to touch his/her toes for 50 seconds and inhale 2 times at the bottom 2 A 20 second ambient sample, followed by a 30 second mask sample.
Jogging-in-Place The test subject shall jog in place comfortably for 30 seconds A 30 second mask sample.
Head Side-to-Side The test subject shall stand in place, slowly turning his/her head from side to side for 30 seconds and inhale 2 times at each extreme 2 A 30 second mask sample.
Head Up-and-Down The test subject shall stand in place, slowly moving his/her head up and down for 39 seconds and inhale 2 times at each extreme 2 A 30 second mask sample followed by a 9 second ambient sample.
1 Exercises are listed in the order in which they are to be administered.
2 It is optional for test subjects to take additional breaths at other times during this exercise.

 

Below are the exercises and times to be used for fit testing Disposable Respirators:

Table A-2— Modified Ambient Aerosal CNC Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol for Filtering Facepiece Respirators
Exercises 1 Exercise procedure Measurement procedure
Bending Over The test subject shall bend at the waist, as if going to touch his/her toes for 50 seconds and inhale 2 times at the bottom 2 A 20 second ambient sample, followed by a 30 second mask sample.
Talking The test subject shall talk out loud slowly and loud enough so as to be heard clearly by the test conductor for 30 seconds. He/she will either read from a prepared text such as the Rainbow Passage, count backward from 100, or recite a memorized poem or song A 30 second mask sample.
Head Side-to-Side The test subject shall stand in place, slowly turning his/her head from side to side for 30 seconds and inhale 2 times at each extreme 2 A 30 second mask sample.
Head Up-and-Down The test subject shall stand in place, slowly moving his/her head up and down for 39 seconds and inhale 2 times at each extreme 2 A 30 second mask sample followed by a 9 second ambient sample.
1 Exercises are listed in the order in which they are to be administered.
2 It is optional for test subjects to take additional breaths at other times during this exercise.

OSHA also accepts the use of the Controlled Negative Pressure (CNP) system the “Fit Tester 3000”, which is manufactured by Occupational Health Dynamics (formerly Dynatech Nevada). This system can only be used for elastomeric facepieces and requires that the test subject hold their breath when the actual fit of the respirator is being measured. It also requires the 8 standard exercises, with some modifications including redonning of the respirator on exercise 8.

OSHA recently approved a new test protocol to be used with the CNP system. OSHA allows that the original 8 exercise protocol be used, or that the new protocol be used. The new protocol has only 3 exercises followed by two redonnings of the respirator and repeating the 3 exercises after each redonning.

For additional details visit OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 Appa at: https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=9780

Moldex® Solution

For additional information on quantitative fit testing, please contact the Moldex® Technical Services Department at (800) 421-0668, ext. 512/550. The CNP model number for the Moldex® test adapters is #9513-0188 – Kit #22 which is used for the 8000 Series half mask and the Kit#9513-0400 – Kit #40 may be used for the Moldex 7000, 7800 and 9000 Series.

Moldex Fit-Testing: https://www.moldex.com/resources/setting-respiratory-protection-program/fit-testing/

Request Information on Quantitative Fit-Testing for Moldex Respirators: www.moldex.com/quantitative-fit-testing/

Occupational Health Dynamics
Phone: 1-888-464-3872
Web: http://www.ohdusa.com/products/quantifit

TSI Inc.
Phone: 651-490-2811
Web: http://www.tsi.com/en-1033/categories/respirator_fit_test.aspx


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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