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ASTM F2101 - Standard Test Method for Evaluating the Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) of Medical Face Mask Materials, Using a Biological Aerosol of Staphylococcus aureus
This test method is used to measure the bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) of medical face mask materials, employing a ratio of the upstream bacterial challenge to downstream residual concentration to determine filtration efficiency of medical face mask materials. This test method is a quantitative method that allows filtration efficiency for medical face mask materials to be determined. The maximum filtration efficiency that can be determined by this method is 99.9 %. This test method does not apply to all forms or conditions of biological aerosol exposure. Users of the test method should...
In Search of a Performing Seal: Rethinking the Design of Tight-Fitting Respiratory Protective Equipment Facepieces for Users With Facial Hair
Background: Air-purifying, tight-fitting facepieces are examples of respiratory protective equipment and are worn to protect workers from potentially harmful particulate and vapors. Research shows that the presence of facial hair on users' face significantly reduces the efficacy of these devices. This article sets out to establish if an acceptable seal could be achieved between facial hair and the facepiece. The team also created and investigated a low-cost “pressure testing” method for assessing the efficacy of a seal to be used during the early design process for a facepiece designed...
Assessment of respirator fit capability test criteria for full-facepiece air-purifying respirators
An ASTM International subcommittee on Respiratory Protection, F23.65 is currently developing a consensus standard for assessing respirator fit capability (RFC) criteria of half-facepiece air-purifying particulate respirators. The objective of this study was to evaluate if the test methods being developed for half-facepiece respirators can reasonably be applied to nonpowered full-facepiece–air-purifying respirators (FF–APR). Benchmark RFC test data were collected for three families of FF–APRs (a one-size-only family, a two-size family, and a three-size family). All respirators...
The effect of wearer stubble on the protection given by Filtering Facepieces Class 3 (FFP3) and Half Masks
HSE Inspectors routinely come across workers with various degrees of stubble growth using respiratory protective masks, despite guidance to the contrary. This research studied the effect of 0-7 days stubble growth on the protection given by FFP3 filtering facepieces and half masks. Fifteen male volunteers took part, each testing four masks. For most, three different design FFP3 and one half mask were tested, selected from seven models of FFP3 and 2 half masks. Fit tests were carried out immediately after shaving and repeated six times during the following week, without further shaving. Results...
Review of fit test pass criteria for Filtering Facepieces Class 3 (FFP3) respirators
Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is available in a range of types which often include a tight-fitting facepiece which must fit the wearer's face well for the RPE to work effectively. Good fit must be demonstrated by fit testing. In this study, 25 volunteer test subjects wearing tight-fitting FFP3 (randomly selected from 9 different models) underwent four fit tests (Bitrex qualitative taste test, Portacount particle counting with and without the N95 companion technology and the laboratory chamber method), in random order, according to methodology given in HSE guidance 282/28. The selected...
Hospital unit safety climate
Relationship with nurses' adherence to recommended use of facial protective Equipment Background : Despite the existence of formal guidelines for the acute health care sector, nurses' adherence to recommended use of facial protective equipment (FPE) to prevent occupational transmission of communicable respiratory disease remains suboptimal. In addition to individual factors such as knowledge and education, group factors such as shared perceptions of organizational support for safety may influence adherence. These group safety climate perceptions can differ depending on the pace and type...
The effects of wearing respirators on human fine motor, visual, and cognitive performance
When selecting a respirator, it is important to understand how employees' motor, visual and cognitive abilities are impacted by the personal protective equipment. This study compares dust, powered-air-purifying and full-face, negative-pressure respirators. Thirty participants performed three varied tasks. Each participant performed each task without a respirator and while wearing the three respirator types. The tasks included a hand tool dexterity test, the Motor-Free Visual Perception Test and the Serial Sevens Test to evaluate fine motor, visual and cognitive performance, respectively. The...
FIT testing of Respiratory Protective Equipment facepieces
Updated Revised HSE guidance on RPE fit testing, circular updated as scheme is introduced to improve competency of fit testers. HSE Guidance document 282/28, ‘FIT testing of Respiratory Protective Equipment facepiecies', has been updated and now includes both the Operational Circular OC 282/28 and the Information Document HSE 282/28. Source : http://news.hse.gov.uk/2010/07/20/fit-testing-of-respiratory-protective-equipment-facepieces-updated/

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