. "5 Future Directions: Additional Analyses and Research to Practice." Assessment of the NIOSH Head-and-Face Anthropometric Survey of U.S. Respirator Users. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2007.
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Assessment of the NIOSH Head-and-Face Anthropometric Survey of U.S. Respirator Users
quantitative fit testing to determine the extent towhich a respirator covers the fit characteristics of theface panel.
FACE PANEL VALIDATION
As discussed in Chapter 4, there are several concerns regarding the validity of the panel proposed by the NIOSH-sponsored Anthrotech study as currently designed. In addition to the analyses described in the preceding chapters, the committee recommends that NIOSH use its existing fit and facial dimensions data, and new quantitative fit tests, to evaluate the current LANL face panel, the proposed bivariate face panel, and the principal component analysis-derived face panel. Specifically, NIOSH should examine the following questions:
Using the same brand of respirators, do the proposed face panels have an improved pass rate compared to the LANL face panels?
Is there a specific subpopulation of respirator wearers selected by either of the proposed face panels who fail to obtain a satisfactory fit and who would have not been included in the proposed face panel?
Do the proposed face panels exclude individuals who fail to obtain an adequate fit and who would have been included by the LANL face panel?
If there are no substantial differences in identifying wearers who fail to obtain a satisfactory fit among the different face panels, the identification of a new anthropometric face panel is more of an intellectual exercise than a practical improvement. Conversely, if one or both of the new panels do identify such test subjects, respirator manufacturers will have to develop new or redesign facepieces to meet certification requirements.
QUALITATIVE FIT TESTING
NIOSH currently uses a qualitative fit test as a part of its certification process. This involves the use of isoamyl acetate (IAA), also known as banana oil. Test subjects are asked to wear different respirators, while