Improving the Fit of Respirators
A new ASTM International standard test method will help improve the fit of particle-only air-purifying respirators, including filtering facepiece respirators, in an effort to ensure wearers have adequate protection. ASTM’s personal protective clothing and equipment committee (F23) developed the standard, which is published as F3407.
“This standard provides detailed instructions for performing a respirator fit capability test to evaluate the fit of air-purifying half-facepiece respirators,” says Christopher Coffey, ASTM member and workgroup co-chair. “The purpose is to increase the probability that available respirators fit a general worker population.”
According to Coffey, the new standard provides increased assurance to users that respirators which meet this standard can be expected to fit better and protect persons with various facial shapes and sizes against particulate contaminants.
In addition to benefiting users in the workforce, Coffey also says respiratory protective device manufacturers can use this standard to design, develop, and produce better fitting respirators for general public use.