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How do you do fit-testing for KN95/N95/FFP2/FFP3 masks?

by ChristianKl1 min read7th Apr 2020No comments


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I have brought FFP3 masks half a year ago and at the time I brought them to get outside and protect myself in enviroments with allergy triggers. It didn't work. At the time I wasn't aware that fit testing is hard as writes:

Fit-testing is a laborious task, taking around 30 min to do properly, and comprises qualitative fit-testing (testing whether the respirator-wearing healthcare worker can taste an intensely bitter or sweet substance sprayed into the ambient air around the outside of the mask) or quantitative fit testing (measuring the ratio of particles in the air inside and outside the breathing zone when wearing the respirator). Attempts have been made to circumvent the requirement for fit testing, and it has been suggested that self-testing for a seal by the respirator wearer (see http://youtu.be/pGXiUyAoEd8a for a video demonstration) is a sufficient substitute for fit-testing. However, self-checking for a seal has been demonstrated to be a highly unreliable technique in two separate studies so that full fit-testing remains a necessary preliminary requirement before respirators can be used in the healthcare setting.

There are many people who seem to wear masks in this crisis in a way that's doesn't provide as much protection as the mask could theoretically give them.

Having protocol that individuals can use for self-checking that's reliable would be very valuable.

In particular it would be good to know what solutions to use for the smell test. Do you have to take take to use moleculs that have the right size?

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