The effects of strapped spectacles on the fit factors of three manufactured brands of full facepiece negative pressure respirators.
A study was conducted to determine the effects of strapped spectacles on the fit factors obtained during quantitative fit testing on three different brands of full facepiece negative pressure respirators. The three brands of respirators were evaluated with and without strapped spectacles worn by the test subjects. A total of 180 quantitative fit testing trials were conducted on ten male test subjects. For each test subject, three quantitative fit testing trials were performed with each brand of respirator with and without the spectacles. The average of the fit testing trials for each subject with each respirator was used for statistical analysis. The results demonstrated that the fit factor values were significantly lower during use of the spectacles (p < 0.05). The estimated percentage of test subjects who failed the American National Standards Institute pass/fail criteria for quantitative fit testing (1000) increased by 15-36% when spectacles were worn. (+info)
Respirator leakage in the pharmaceutical industry of northwest England.
Field qualitative fit tests were conducted at 10 separate companies in the Northwest of England to determine the proportion of leaking respirators in a cross-section of pharmaceutical manufacturing industries. The 3 M FT-10 Qualitative Fit Test Apparatus was used to test a total of 211 half-face particulate respirator wearers. Participants wore their own respirators and were asked to don them as they would normally. In all cases, no specific intervention had occurred prior to testing. Results indicated a failure rate of 69% (of the 211 subjects tested, 145 respirators were leaking). Successful results were not associated with the frequency of use (p = 0.71) or years of experience wearing respirators (p = 0.59). Similarly, successful results were not associated with respirator training in the current job (p = 0.38) or training in previous jobs (p = 0.49). Leakage was not consistent across the 10 companies, with two companies exhibiting a 100% failure rate while another company had 26 successful tests in 50 wearers (52% pass rate). Only 35 of the 211 participants performed a negative pressure test. Of these, 80% successfully passed the test, which was significantly greater than the 22% pass rate among those who had not performed the pressure test (p < 0.001). (+info)
Clinically important FEV1 declines among coal miners: an exploration of previously unrecognised determinants.
OBJECTIVES: The relation between occupational exposure to dust and loss of ventilatory lung function is now well established. However, many exposures during work and other activities might also have important roles in determining clinically important losses of lung function. In this study, we attempted to explore additional plausible determinants of exposures and other potential risk factors for clinically important decline in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) during work in dusty trades. METHODS: The study was performed in 264 underground coal miners whose lung function had been followed up for an average of 11 years. With an extensive follow up questionnaire, miners were asked about their occupational and non-occupational exposures, smoking, personal and family medical history, and living conditions during childhood. RESULTS: Several variables of the mine environment (as well as previously recognised effects of mining work and region) were found to be associated with excess decline in FEV1, including work in roof bolting, exposure to explosive blasting, and to control dust spraying water that had been stored in holding tanks. Use of respiratory protection seemed to reduce the risk of decline in FEV1. Other factors that were found to be associated with declines in pulmonary function included smoking, body mass, weight gain, childhood pneumonia, and childhood exposure in the home to passive tobacco smoke and possibly smoke due to wood and coal fuels. Miners with excessive decline in FEV1 were less likely to be working in mining jobs at follow up. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest the existence of additional risk factors for decline in lung function in dusty trades, and may be useful in developing additional approaches to the prevention of chronic respiratory disease. (+info)
Two patients with occupational asthma who returned to work with dust respirators.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy of dust respirators in preventing asthma attacks in patients with occupational asthma (asthma induced by buckwheat flour or wheat flour). METHODS: The effect of the work environment was examined in two patients with occupational asthma with and without the use of a commercially available mask or a dust respirator. Pulmonary function tests were performed immediately before and after work and at 1 hourly intervals for 14 hours after returning to the hospital. RESULTS: In patient 1, environmental exposure resulted in no symptoms during and immediately after work, but coughing, wheezing, and dyspnoea developed after 6 hours. Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) decreased by 44% 7 hours after leaving the work environment, showing only a positive late asthmatic reaction (LAR). In patient 2, environmental exposure resulted in coughing and wheezing 10 minutes after initiation during bread making, and PEFR decreased by 39%. After 7 hours, PEFR decreased by 34%. The environmental provocation tests in both patients were repeated after wearing a commercial respiratory. This resulted in a complete suppression of LAR in patient 1 and of immediate asthmatic reaction (IAR) and LAR in patient 2. CONCLUSIONS: Two patients with asthma induced by buckwheat flour or wheat flour in whom asthmatic attacks could be prevented with a dust respirator are reported. Dust respirators are effective in preventing asthma attacks induced by buckwheat flour and wheat flour. (+info)
Fit factors for quarter masks and facial size categories.
Respirator fit testing is necessary before entering hazardous working environments to ensure that the respirator, when worn, satisfies a minimum fit and that the wearer knows when the respirator fits properly. In the many countries that do not have fit testing or total inward leakage regulations (including Korea), however, many workers wearing respirators may be potentially exposed to hazardous environments. It is necessary to suggest a useful tool to provide an alternative for fit testing in these countries. This study was conducted to evaluate fitting performance for quarter-mask respirators, and fit factors in facial size categories based on face lengths and lip lengths of the wearers. A total of 778 subjects (408 males, 370 females) were fit tested for three quarter masks: Sejin Co. SK-6 (Ulsan, Korea), Yongsung Co. YS-2010 S (Seoul, Korea), and 3 M Co. Series 7500 Medium (MN, USA) masks with a PortaCount 8020 (TSI Co., USA). A facial dimension survey of the subjects was conducted to develop facial size categories, on the basis of face length and lip length. Geometric mean fit factors (GMFFs) of Series 7500 Medium were found to be the highest of the three respirators. All of the respirators were more suitable for males than females in fitting performance. The Series 7500 Medium fitted a large number of the males tested, since the GMFFs for males were above 100 for every box of facial size categories, and high pass proportion rates were shown at an individual fit factor level of 100. The YS-2010 S provides an adequate fit for males in a limited range of facial dimensions. The Series 7500 Medium is more limited in providing adequate fit for females at specific facial dimensions than for males. For adequate fitting performance, the SK-6 is not preferentially recommended for Korean male and female workers due to low GMFFs and pass proportions. The result of this study indicates that after more accurate studies are performed, facial size categories, on the basis of facial dimensions, could be a useful tool to assist in the selection of adequately fitting respirators for workers in the countries having no fit testing requirements. (+info)
Performance of respirator filters using quality factor in Korea.
A respirator filter of good quality has not only high aerosol collection efficiency but also low air resistance. "Quality factor", which is expressed with aerosol penetration and pressure drop, can be used to rank the performance of respirator filters within the same category. This study focuses on evaluating several respirator filters which are widely used in Korea using quality factor. Two mechanical filters and three filtering facepieces made by different manufacturers were measured aerosol penetrations and pressure drops by an automatic filter tester (CertiTest Model 8110, TSI Inc., St. Paul, USA) at four flow rates of 10, 32, 64 and 85 L/min. NaCl aerosols used were reported to be mean size of 0.1 microm and geometric standard deviation of <1.9. The penetrations and pressure drops of all filters have strong flow rate dependency. The filter quality factors decrease sharply as flow rates are increased. The mechanical filter S and filtering facepiece M are shown better filter quality than others in the same category. Since some certified filters are found to be inappropriate in the workplace exposed to fume, this result suggests that the current certified filter test protocol for respirators should be changed for the new protocol using smaller aerosols. (+info)
Cyclohexane as an alternative vapor of carbon tetrachloride for the assessment of gas removing capacities of gas masks.
An alternative vapor was explored to replace carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) for testing breakthrough times of cartridges and canisters of gas masks in the National Approval Test of Respirators. Cyclohexane was single out as a candidate for the alternative vapor out of six vapors: trichloroethylene, n-pentane, n-hexane, n-heptane, toluene and cyclohexane from the viewpoints of similarity of vapor pressure and water-solubility to CCl4, lower toxicity than CCl4, and technical feasibility in generating an airflow of 30 L/min containing the vapor ranging from 300 to 5000 ppm. Breakthrough times of cartridges and canisters were examined by generating cyclohexane vapor in a test airflow of 30 L/min in comparison with CCl4 vapor under various test conditions with different vapor concentrations and relative humidities (RH). As the results, the breakthrough times of the cartridges and canisters for cyclohexane were found to almost coincide with those for CCl4 under all examined range of concentrations and RH. By an increase of humidity from 50% RH to 80% RH, the cartridges showed significant shortening of breakthrough times for both of CCl4 and cyclohexane, but the susceptibility of the breakthrough time of cyclohexane to humidity was also similar to that of CCl4. It was, therefore, concluded that cyclohexane can be recommended as the alternative vapor of CCl4 for testing the breakthrough times of gas mask cartridges and canisters in the National Approval Test. (+info)
Proposal for an approach with default values for the protection offered by PPE, under European new or existing substance regulations.
Introduction of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the process of quantitative exposure and risk assessment should be addressed carefully. PPE which have been designed and manufactured according to CE-criteria and have proved to pass relevant test criteria, can be classified as "proper functioning". However, test criteria for PPE are not equal to levels of protection which can be achieved in the workplace, because actual workplace exposure scenarios, fit, maintenance and storage may differ substantially from the test conditions. The proper use of PPE is related to issues which form a part of a PPE-programme. Such a programme should be implemented in a company to ensure selection of proper PPE and information, training and instruction of employees how to wear PPE properly. Assigned protection factors (APFs) for different designs of respiratory protective devices (RPD) have been introduced to quantify effectiveness of RPD in the workplace. Similar APFs are proposed for dermal protection (gloves and clothing). In general biological monitoring studies show lower reduction of internal exposure than estimated by reduction of external exposure. Therefore, conservative estimates of protection by PPE, i.e. the lowest APFs, are proposed for risk assessment purposes if "proper use of proper functioning" PPE as part of a PPE-programme cannot be demonstrated. (+info)