Respirator Fit Test Qualitative Respirator Fit Test

Respiratory conditions in the workplace are more important than they ever have been. We are no longer just worried about OSHA requirements — although those are still in place and important. OSHA requires a respirator fit test at least once a year, but it may also be required for a new job or after any changes in facial characteristics. 

Qualitative testing is a simple and effective solution for ensuring a proper respirator fit. Most often this test is accompanied by a Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire to ensure an employee is medically capable to wear a respirator.

What to expect with your Respirator Fit Test?

What to expect with your Respirator Fit Test?

The respirator fit test is used to ensure the mask you are required to wear for work fits your face properly. You will need to bring the specific mask you are going to be wearing on a day-to-day basis for the test. For the fit test you will on your mask, and then we will place a hood over your head. Next we will apply a series of test agents and go through a few movements to see if you can smell or taste the agent. If you can then you may need to adjust the mask or change to a different mask with a better fit. 

Common agents used:

  • Saccharin – a sweet-tasting solid aerosol
  • Isoamyl acetate – a liquid that produces a sweet-smelling vapor similar to bananas
  • BitrexTM – a bitter-tasting solid aerosol
Respirator Fit Test