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What’s the Difference? Qualitative and Quantitative Face Fit Testing

Posted on February 23, 2021

Qualitative Face fit Testing

Qualitative testing relies on the person’s sense of taste to determine whether the respirator provides sufficient respiratory protection. For this type of testing, disposable half-masks and re-usable half-masks are used.

The first thing the candidate will be asked to do is to place a hood over their head, without wearing their mask. The assessor carrying out the test then administers a strong solution into the hood and the candidate will inform them when they can identify it via smell or taste. This allows the assessor to calculate how much of the solution will be needed for the test. Next, the individual will be asked to wear their mask, along with the hood, while preforming exercises that allow them to move in a similar way to how they move when carrying out normal work. If the individual can taste the solution, it means the seal does not work correctly and the mask is providing ineffective respiratory protection.


Quantitative Face Fit Testing

Quantitative face fit testing relies on machinery to detect the quality of the seal between the mask and face, as opposed to the individual. For this kind of testing, TSI Portacount pro uses methods such as particle counting. The particle counting method measures the quality of the seal. Quantitative face fit testing is becoming more popular as it can be used to test many kinds of masks, such as full-face masks, reusable half-masks and disposables.

During the test, the candidate will be required to take part in exercises to demonstrate movements similar to the way which they usually work. The Portacount machine is then used to measure the amount of particles which enter the mask in comparison to the amount of particles blocked.

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