Respirator Fit Testing – Qualitative
Respirator fit testing ensures that respirators have an appropriate seal and fit in order to protect workers who need them. Many workers must pass a fit test before being issued their respirator. Workers must be tested with the same make, model, and size respirators as the one that will be used in the workplace. There are two types of testing available to detect if any air is leaking into the face piece.
A qualitative test is one method of testing. During a qualitative respirator fit test, the user relies on their sense of taste and smell to detect a leakage of chemicals. These chemicals may be bitter or sweet. During the test, the worker is generally asked to breathe normally and deeply while bending over and talking. If the wearer can taste or smell the chemical, the respirator fails the test.