Recorded at AIHce EXP 2023
Total Outward Leakage of Half-Mask Respirators and Surgical Masks Used for Source Control
The objective of this study was to quantify total outward leakage (TOL) in five categories: (1) surgical masks; (2) NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) with exhalation valves; (3) NIOSH-approved N95 FFRs without exhalation valves; (4) NIOSH-approved elastomeric half-mask respirators (EHMRs) with an exhalation valve covered by a surgical mask; (5) NIOSH-approved EHMRs with an exhalation valve not covered by a surgical mask. A benchtop test system was designed to test two models of each category of devices mounted on a headform at three seal levels with wax (0% seal, 50% seal, and 100% seal) and at three flowrates of 17, 28, and 39 L/min. Device type, faceseal level, and flowrate were found to have a significant effect (P"-value"<0.05) on the TOL. N95 FFRs without exhalation valves had the lowest mean TOL value. The surgical masks were found to have about three times higher TOL value than the FFRs without exhalation valves. The TOL of the N95 FFRs with exhalation valves was comparable to surgical masks. The EHMRs had the highest TOL value. Using a surgical mask to cover the exhalation valve did not improve the EHMR's efficiency in mitigating the outward leakage. Overall, this study inferred that a good fit is needed for N95 FFRs and surgical masks to act as effective source control devices. Further, workplace fit testing of N95 FFRs may improve their source control ability. When source control is required, EHMRs with exhalation valves may not be suitable.
W. Myers, Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA
W. Yang, Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA
M. Bergman, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
E. Fisher, Nation
Acknowledgements & References
Ziqing Zhuang, NIOSH/MPPTL Pittsburgh, PA
United States of America
Development of Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors for Real-Time Monitoring of Respirator Fit
Protection of frontline healthcare workers is critical during public health emergencies. Respirators such as N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) are one of the most important and effective forms of personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers, and the protection afforded by an FFR depends on how well it fits the user. This project will develop a novel sensor to embed into elastomeric half mask respirators (EHMRs) and FFRs to monitor the respirator's fit, providing real-time feedback to support healthcare workers with maintaining respirator fit during use.
M. Caitlin, NIOSH/NPPTL, Pittsburgh, PA , USA
Z. Haifeng, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
D. Mitali, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
Acknowledgements & References