Respirator Fit Testing
There are two generally acceptable methods for Respirator Fit Testing according to a National CSA Standard Z94. 4-11. Both a Qualitative and Quantitative method require a trained professional to conduct an in person assessment and training on the selection, care and use of designated respirators. The method of fit testing is standardized across Canada.
It is important to get fit tested from a reputable and experienced organization to ensure you receive the right training and testing for respirator use! Synergy offers both Individual and Group testing options.
In Canada, each province maintains its own Occupational Health and Safety guidelines and policies. In Ontario, the Occupational Health and Safety Act suggests Respirator Fit Testing to be conducted every 2 years. In British Columbia, fit testing is required annually. In addition to Occupational Health and Safety Act, individual organizations will have health and safety policies and programs that may require fit testing to be conducted more frequently. Finally, many healthcare organizations will have created a Pandemic Plan (see Ontario's Pandemic Plan)
Qualitative Testing: This method of fit testing is a two-part test that requires the participants to validate the taste of a fit testing agent in part one and then subjectively assess the lack of taste in part two. This method of fit testing provides a flexible, accurate and affordable fit testing experience. Testing takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes and can be conducted in groups of 1 to 10 participants. It is our belief that participants receive a lasting memory from qualitative fit testing that is not present in quantitative fit testing. This provides we believe a lasting impression that emphasizes the importance of correct technique and respirator use.
Quantitative Testing: This method of fit testing produces a measurement of the "fit factor" of a particular respirator. This method uses a porta count machine to assess the concentration of particles in the ambient air. This method of testing takes approximately 15 minutes and is conducted one participant at a time.
Types of respirators we fit test with: There are 2 main categories of respirators that require respiratory mask fit testing for: DISPOSABLE and RE-USEABLE. Currently Synergy only provides N95 Mask Fit Testing for Reuseable 3M respirators for all our fit testing. Below are the following respirators we provide testing for:
- Disposable 3M N95 Respirators: 3M 8110s, 3M 8210, 3M9210+, 3M 1860, 3M 1860s and 3M 1870+.