Q: What should I do during quantitative mask fit testing?
A: During quantitative mask fit testing, you should follow the instructions provided by the
fit testing provider or your employer. This may include wearing the mask according to
the manufacturer's instructions and the fit tester's guidance, performing specific
movements, such as talking, bending over, or moving your head side to side, as
instructed, and cooperating with the fit tester to ensure accurate measurements. It's
important to remain still and avoid any unnecessary movements during the testing
process to obtain reliable results.
Q: What happens after quantitative mask fit testing?
A: After quantitative mask fit testing, the fit tester will calculate a fit factor, which is a
numerical value that represents the effectiveness of the mask in preventing the ingress
of airborne particles. If the fit factor meets the required threshold set by regulatory
standards or workplace policies, the mask is considered to have passed the fit test, and
the wearer can continue to use it. If the fit factor does not meet the required threshold,
the wearer may need to try a different size, type, or model of mask, or receive additional
training on proper mask fitting techniques.
Q: Can I wear any mask that passed the quantitative mask fit test?
A: No, passing the quantitative mask fit test does not mean that any mask can be used.
The mask that passed the fit test should be the specific make, model, size, and style of
mask that was tested. Using a different mask may not provide the same level of
protection, as different masks may have different designs, materials, and fit
characteristics. Always use the mask that passed the fit test or another mask that has
been approved by your employer or follows regulatory standards.
Q: Can quantitative mask fit testing be done on individuals with facial hair?
A: Facial hair, such as beards, moustaches, and sideburns, can interfere with the proper
fit of a mask and may affect the accuracy of quantitative mask fit testing. In general,
tight-fitting masks, such as N95 respirators, should be used with a clean-shaven face to
ensure a proper seal. If you have facial hair, you may need to either shave it off or
select a different type of mask that does not require a tight seal, as recommended by
your fit testing provider or employer.
Q: Who can perform quantitative mask fit testing?
A: Quantitative mask fit testing should be performed by trained and qualified personnel,
such as occupational health and safety professionals, certified fit testers, or other
individuals who have received appropriate training on the fit testing process and
equipment. It's important to ensure that the fit testing provider has the necessary
expertise and equipment to perform accurate and reliable quantitative mask fit testing.
Q: Is qualitative mask fit testing an alternative to quantitative mask fit testing?
A: Qualitative mask fit testing is another method of mask fit testing, but it is based on
subjective assessment and does not provide quantitative data like fit factor. It relies on
the wearer's perception of taste or smell, or the tester's observation of particles or
odours, to determine if the mask fits properly. While qualitative mask fit testing may be
used in some situations, quantitative mask fit testing is generally considered more
accurate and reliable in assessing mask fit and ensuring proper respiratory protection.