Selecting models for a respiratory protection program: What can we learn from the scientific literature?

Published:December 10, 2014DOI:


      An unbiased source of comparable respirator performance data would be helpful in setting up a hospital respiratory protection program.


      The scientific literature was examined to assess the extent to which performance data (respirator fit, comfort and usability) from N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) models are available to assist with FFR model selection and procurement decisions.


      Ten studies were identified that met the search criteria for fit, whereas 5 studies met the criteria for comfort and usability.


      Analysis of these studies indicated that it is difficult to directly use the scientific literature to inform the FFR selection process because of differences in study populations, methodologies, and other factors. Although there does not appear to be a single best fitting FFR, studies demonstrate that fit testing programs can be designed to successfully fit nearly all workers with existing products. Comfort and usability are difficult to quantify. Among the studies found, no significant differences were noted.

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